A Springtime Photo Essay

by Katy on April 18, 2010 · 12 comments

Today’s weather in Portland, Oregon was almost too good to be true. The type of warmth that soaks into our Oregonian pallor and almost makes up for the months of darkness and precipitation. But why should I explain, when I can just show you?

I always plant this wheelbarrow with lettuce throughout the growing season. I have very little sun, so I sneak in any extra that I can. There is lettuce planted here, (and spinach in the small planter) but it's too early to see them.

My son planted chive seeds in this pot, and they come back every year. Not to mention that the flowers are beautiful.

This summer will be year two of having raspberries, and they look very promising so far. My mouth waters just thinking about them.

My ugly compost bin is the perfect example of how things don't have to be beautiful to be functional.

You can tell my amended soil is from homemade compost. The bits of eggshells and fruit stickers are a dead giveaway!

This gargantuan maple tree in my backyard is reason #1 why I have to sneak bits of sunshine for any gardening of foodstuff. I am still able to have a clothesline underneath it though.

I'm able to hang two loads of laundry at a time on my clothesline. *Lurve* my clothesline. Might actually marry my clothesline.

I have three hanging baskets filled with fuschia plants. I buy the small starts once a year when they go on sale for "Five for $3." They will get as large and impressive as the expensive pre-planted ones, yet are super inexpensive. Plus, I bought all three of my wire baskets at thrift stores!

I am fully aware that the rains will return, so I always have a stash of lovely, lovely books to keep me company.

Gotta run now. Going to walk to the store and buy loss leader Tillamook cheese and lettuce. Can’t wait until I can just be eating from my own garden. Yumm . . . .

Katy Wolk-Stanley

Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Jacquelyn April 18, 2010 at 3:03 pm

Nice! I’m currently re-reading my Complete Tightwad Gazette book, and I love it!
Where do you find those 3 for $5 fuchsia starts? I don’t think I’ve ever seen them so small. Great idea!


Katy April 18, 2010 at 9:34 pm

Fred Meyer does the 5 for $3 fuschias every year as a special promotion. They even will plant them in free potting soil if you bring them in on the big day. I worked that day, but still made sure to buy the starts while they were still on sale.



Kristen@TheFrugalGirl April 18, 2010 at 3:15 pm

I smiled when I saw your soil because mine looks just like that! When I first started composting, I didn’t know I was supposed to crush my egg shells before throwing them in, so some shells remained even when the rest of the compost was done.


Rebecca April 18, 2010 at 3:56 pm

I also plant and replant my porch hanging baskets every year, they just need some fertilizer this year. It is still too cold to have them outside yet here in WI, but about mom’s day I buy a flat of flowers for 5$ and can have up to 5 planters bursting with color all summer long. I wish we could start planting the garden yet, but too many frost risks yet here, not till the end of may or so.


Karen April 18, 2010 at 7:43 pm

Thanks for the garden tour, that hit the spot! If you soak the chive blossoms in white vinegar, you can make some lovely pink vinegar for dressing.


Sara April 19, 2010 at 4:39 am

Love the wheelbarrow idea! Here in Raleigh, NC I’ve been eating lettuce, greens, radishes, scallions, and chives from my patio container garden for a few weeks now and my snap and snow peas have beautiful flowers on them that are starting to turn into peas! I’ve already planted my peppers and tomatoes 🙂

I love the gardening weather in NC, however we are moving to Corvallis, OR in the beginning of September! I am super excited to live out there as I’ve heard great things, but I’m wondering about the gardening – can you grow anything during the fall/winter wet season? I understand it is very cloudy and lightly rainy most of the time from Oct/Nov to Marchish, but it doesn’t get below freezing much. Any edible gardening candidates for those months? I’m sad at the prospect of not being able to eat from my patio garden well into November 🙂


Penniless Parenting April 19, 2010 at 4:45 am

Beautiful garden. We used to have one, then our rabbits and chickens escaped and ate up all our plants. I’m tempted to start a new garden with all my extra seeds, but we’re moving to an apartment without a yard in a few weeks. Maybe I’ll try my hand at cement gardening?
It really would be a dream to grow all my own food. Guess I’ll just keep on dreaming…


Lisa April 19, 2010 at 8:30 am

Beautiful, inspiring photos! Container gardens rock . Their portability is great for those who have to chase the sunlight or have limited space. If that still doesn’t work for people, I’d like to suggest they get involved with community gardening. Cities are usually more than happy to allow people to plant vacant lots that are otherwise eyesores.


Kayla K April 19, 2010 at 9:01 am

Sunny days make me ache for a clothesline! I can’t wait to spend some time at home this summer.


Sense of Home April 19, 2010 at 5:42 pm

I see “The Worst Hard Time” is on your bookshelf. That is one of the best books I have read. I thought I knew a lot about the history of the “dirty 30s”, but I learned so much from that book. I feel I have a greater understanding of what they went through. Make time for that book.


Katy April 19, 2010 at 6:34 pm

I read “The Worst Hard Time” last year and even wrote a few posts about it.




Jackie April 20, 2010 at 12:55 pm

Your compost bin is exactly like mine (as is your compost). My hubby got it for me dirt cheap when the city was giving them as a promo.

I’ve not heard of the book “Now is not the wors hard times”, but I’ll have to see if I can find it at the library. It sounds like my kind of read.


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