Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Early signs of spring: daffodils and hyacinths.

I grew up around a master-of-a-gardener mother, and since moving to Oregon, I have been doing my best to make her proud. Well, okay. We rent an apartment in a triplex with a little area to garden, and also recently my budget doesn't even include hardly enough money for food and bills. So as much as I'd really love to go to the lovely gardening center which taunts me by being almost directly across the street from us, and spend lots of money on bulbs and shrubs and seeds, I really can't at the moment. So essentially - we do what we can. But we had some mild successes last year, from tulips to sunflowers to tomatoes, which was pretty remarkable to us after five years of living either in dorms or apartment buildings in Boston which didn't grant us even a thought of planting our own flowers. Like, in the ground, in dirt, where we lived. Weird concept.

As spring slowly (very, very slowly) creeps around the corner, I am feeling ever optimistic about our second growing season here in Southeast Portland, and already have been surprised by rewards such as these daffodils and hyacinths. I planted both last year, and being that they are perennials, here's the thing: they just came up again this year! Without me doing a thing! One morning I woke up after months of reading books inside and there were green shoots coming out of the ground! I don't know about you, but I think this is pretty amazing. It makes me wonder why people go through the hassle of planting annuals at all. Although I know that you can presumably save their seeds and re-plant them the next year so that they, too, can be remarkably sustainable. But still. Perennials, man. I am hooked on this gardening thing.

A note about hyacinths: They are really pretty (although this picture above isn't the greatest), but all of mine seem to droop over on their sides as soon as they get enough blooms to look full and bright, which leaves them/my little gardening space in the back looking overall kind of goofy. I'm not sure if there is a way to remedy this.
A note about daffodils: They are everywhere here. Holy crap. I mean maybe they are everywhere well, everywhere, being that they are seemingly easy to grow in most temperate climates, but when we walk Toby in the mornings around our neighborhood it's almost overwhelming, all that yellow. Even Powell, our not-necessarily-so-glamorous main street near our apartment, looks freshened up by rows of them. Which Toby, as much as we try to pull him away, loves to pee and poop on. I'm sorry, daffodils on Powell. We hope you can forgive us.


  1. love those flores!

    in other news, everyone should check out the spin-off blog of jill's blog,

  2. some of those annuals are very pretty! we always had to buy snapdragons every year cause i love them. and some are very delicious, like basil.

  3. sam, a lot of annuals ARE very pretty! i'll probably invest in buying some when i have more money...maybe snapdragons! i also planted some basil seeds in a little pot inside the other day, hopefully some of them will grow. i was very unsuccessful with my herb growing last year...did you guys ever get to use some of the ones you grew??

  4. we did! and they were so good! we used a TON of the basil, so much that I'm buying 2 plants this year. and cilantro, parsley, organo and thyme we used as well. i did have a couple that we didn't use, like dill, that i won't invest in again. but i'm excited for it to start again! and this year, i'm really going to try and dry some and keep them!