Monday, April 2, 2018

Walking in Portland)

We're off on a short family-oriented road trip this week; I'll tell you a bit more about destination and motivation later. For now, I still have a few more photos I haven't shown you from my wanderings-with-camera in Portland two weeks ago.
I love the combination of plants in this window box -- might try to pull some of these elements onto our smaller deck. I especially like that sharp green of the small evergreens with the glaucous/blue-green of what I think is Dusty Miller/ senecio, all as backdrop to the purple pansies. . . 

We have nowhere we could imitate this gorgeous stonework, but if we were still living at the beach, I'd be gathering little pebbles and arranging them in mosaic patterns. They remind me of the stunning work we trod on in Barcelona five years ago. . . 


The mosaic above lives in such a pretty neighbourhood -- in Nob Hill, Portland, Oregon. Beautiful, well-maintained heritage houses surrounded by charming gardens that stretched to the sidewalk, a generous gift to passers-by, especially on a sunny day in March. . .
 Signs like this were ubiquitous in Portland. This garden already appealed to me with its well-tended generosity, its sense of creative plenitude, a deceptively contained sprawl of pinks and greens, fragrance (that daphne odora!), texture, colour, variety of heights. . . But the sentiment of that sign, its gentle assertion of steadfast politics based on kindness, I found very welcoming, very reassuring.
 a
More mosaic work, and a shadow-portrait of yours truly. . .
 a
I remember the thrill of that sunshine, that sense of full spring, the way it will yield to summer warmth. We're back to cooler temperatures here at home (and Portland switched back to rainy, grey, and cool while we were still there), with grey, rainy days the expectation for most of this week. But check my Instagram feed to see that Pater and I had our first bike ride of the year (together, that is, he's been out a few times already, solo) along the seaside route in gloriously sunny (still nippy, but sunny) weather on Saturday. And at least one of the mason bees decided it was warm enough to break out of his cocoon. . . .

But my cousin, who lives in the interior of BC, posted on Facebook this morning that he woke to see at least 15 centimetres of new snow on the ground, snow still falling heavily enough for him to guess there could be another 15 by mid-morning. April can be very, very moody. . . What's it up to you in your neighbourhood? 

18 comments:

  1. Oh yes, we have snow too and I am up to here with it! Fortunately we have some guests in the holiday cottage this weekend and seeing their children delightedly rushing out to make a snowman stopped my being quite so grumpy!

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    1. I have very little patience with snow, but yes, watching how happy kids are with it tends to check my cantankerousness . . . Hope it warms for you, soon.

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  2. Current temperature -14c, wind ENE 11 km/hr, feels like -21. Continuing presence of frozen snow/mud, sidewalks appear bare except in shaded areas.

    This Winnipeg weather report brought to you by me, as I prepare to dress for a walk and lunch with a friend. Parka, windpants, earband, here I come...thankfully it is a very bright day, so sunglasses are also in order.

    I find your floral pictures, here and on IG, very cheering at this time of year. I am dreaming of gardens.

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    1. Yes, your weather reports always help me find perspective -- thank you!
      And I'm glad you're able to enjoy the floral pictures. I do worry that these postings can seem smug. . .

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  3. I can imagine a strip of mosaic on your deck wall somewhere:).

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  4. I love those mosaics - they immediately reminded me of Barcelona, too.

    slf

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  5. When my husband was traveling for work, I sometimes went along. The joy of wandering around residential neighbourhoods was such a treat. The different architecture and and planting’s fueled my fantasies. I learned what worked in a garden, and what didn’t.
    Ali

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    1. Yes! I like doing this kind of companion travelling -- no big goals, just permission to wander during the day. As you say, so much fuel for creativity and we can build such a storehouse of images to draw on.

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  6. Lovely photos, Frances. Sunshine and +5 here... until we get that 10 cm of snow on Thursday. Consoling myself with thoughts of spring outfits and good books. Stu, on the other hand is trying to squeeze in a final ski of the year... or two. Today he had to remove skis twice to traipse across flooded trails and mud. Sigh. The intrepid outdoorsman.

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    1. Ha! Our preferences would break down the same way. . . me by the fire with my books; him out tromping about. . . Your guy is really dedicated, though -- not sure mine would tolerate that muck just to ski. . .

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  7. Yes,lovely and cheerful photos
    Sunny day in Croatia,8 AM and it is already 10°C-we are going to 18°C today,hopefully. I'm going for a walk because there will be more rain from Wednesday. Everything is bursting with blooming,plants have a lot of catch up to do
    I've had heather and pansies all winter long on my balcony,some of the pansies even survived the snow
    Dottoressa

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    1. Oh Lovely! We won't be at 18 for some time, judging by current temperatures -- although that could change quickly (crossing my fingers)
      Pansies can be wonderfully hardy, and they're so cheering in the long bleak winter.

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  8. It's been mostly sunny and warm, sometimes approaching 70°F, in N.W. Portland since shortly after you left. We live in the hills above what you call the Nob Hill neighborhood, in an area that abuts Forest Park. Next time you plan to be in Portland, be in touch and maybe we can go for a walk in that huge urban forest and/or have coffee/tea together. (Can you retrieve my email address off your subscriber list?)

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    1. I'd like to get together next time we're in Portland. Thought of you this time, but I have no contact information -- although perhaps I can retrieve your address from my subscriber list, and maybe it's time for me to find out!

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  9. I suspect the yellow green mini-tree in the window box is a Lemon Cypress; they only visit with me, rather than staying long term in the plant collection, but the color is wonderful with so many others. I see lots of those yard signs all over the north east....rather discouraging that these things have to be stated as opposed to assumed.

    ceci

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    1. Thanks for the tip -- I think I'd like one to visit with me for a while, and will keep an eye out.

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