President’s Day in the Garden – Part Two

My grandfather, Edwin Alexander McDougall, was a wonderful man.  He took in my mother, sister and I after my father died in a boating accident when I was only 6 months old.  My grandmother, whom I don’t remember died soon after and grandpa was left to deal with all us girls.  He was the stable light in my life, the one that walked me to school, the man that taught me to garden.  Grandpa always said that you prune roses between Lincoln’s birthday (the same day as his) and Washington’s birthday.  He would trim our roses and then take a walk with his shears pruning the roses of any neighbor that would have him.  They would usually ‘pay’ him with a strong cup of coffee and a home baked sweet.  After the neighborhood’s roses were in shape, Grandpa would come home to sit on the back porch watching the airplane descending into pdx or tend to his fruit trees.

Grandpa died the 5th of October in 1983 he was 92 years old.  I think of him often, but I always remember on President’s day.  The grapes and blueberries are pruned just like he would have taught me.  Now it time to prune the roses – look after them Grandpa.


Starting the Garden 2013


We picked up the Veggie Calendar at Portland Nursery this afternoon.  It tells me that in Late February we should plant our asparagus crowns, garlic, onion sets, peas, potato tubers and shallots.

  • Onions – Copra: medium, round, white, 105 days – – – -$4.99 (one bunch)
  • Asparagus – Jersey Knight: all male – – -$3.56 (four crowns)
  • Potatoes
    • Organic Cherry Red: medium to dark red, 65 days – – – $1.59 ($1.99/lb)
    • Organic All Blue: blue skin and flesh, 90 days – – – $1.31 ($1.99/lb)
    • Yukon Gold: bake, boil, fries, 65 days – – – $0.69 ($0.99/lb)
    • Russet Classic: bake, fry, keeper, 7o days – – -$0.64 ($0.99/lb)
    • Organic Princess La Ratte: mild, nutty, fingerling, 100 days – – – $2.49 ($4.99)
  • Peas
    • Lilly Miller Early Frosty: bush, 60 days – – -$1.43/pack      planted outside 2/17/13
    • Lilly Miller Sugar Pod II: bush, Oregon, 68 days – – – $1.43/pack
  • Lettuce
    • Lilly Miller Paris Island Romaine: 78 days – – – $1.43/pack planted in greenhouse 2/17/13
    • Botanical Interests Farmer’s Market Blend: 21 days – – – $1.89/pack planted in greenhouse 2/17/13


We really cut back the fruit plants hard this year.  The three apple tree, pie cherry and  pear trees, two cherry trees, and peach tree in the orchard are done and ready for Lime Sulphur spray.  We also cut back the plums in the backyard and fruit garden and finished the two espaliered apples in the fruit garden.  DS worked really hard moving all of the cuttings to the burn pile.

President’s Day Weekend

I’m bound and determined to make some progress on things this weekend!

Friday night – I started a batch of 5-minute a Day Bread Dough and worked on finishing my first scarf.  I have a knitting class on Saturday afternoon and want to have it done for class.  If you’ve never taken up knitting because it looks too hard, take a class from someone like J.J. at Wynona’s Studio.  She makes it so easy.  Last week we learned to knit with four needles (a tiny hat) and started this scarf.  Pictures coming when I finish!

Saturday – This morning I woke up and went out to the fruit garden.  I cut back the raspberries and pruned the two espaliered apple trees – I can’t reach the top so I’m waiting for DH to come home and help me.  Then I went down to the greenhouse, straightened it up and set some starter mix into trays to start some seeds on Sunday.  After I finished in the greenhouse, I came in and started a pot of elk stew for supper.

DH just put in a call to Portland Nursery about potatoes, asparagus and the apple tree.  We’ll make a trip out tomorrow to pick up the first of our gardening supplies for the year.

Sunday – Today is pruning day in the fruit orchard.  I watched a few videos yesterday and still, not really knowing what I’m doing, decided we need to go for it.  I started with two really lop-sided pear trees.  They’re better, but will never be right……just to much on one side not enough on the other.  Then I did the bottom part of another pear and started an apple.  My hands started to hurt so I came in to warm up and talk with my husband about it.  I had the sudden realization that the first two trees I pruned should just get dug out anyway.  They are dry pears growing from the rootstock (or weird conversion, or someone sold us the Brooklyn Bridge) of a couple of Asian pears that we planted over ten years ago.  They are lop-sided (as I said previously), ugly, stunted and have never provided even a hint of an Asian pear.  WHY DID I SPEND THE TIME PRUNING THEM!?  I’ve been limping them along for years when I could have dug them up and planted something else.  So this year, out they’re coming.  Maybe a couple more pie cherries.  While I’m at it, the sickly Italian prune is done too.  I feel liberated.

Blog Break

It seems like I haven’t attended to my blog forever. I got sick over Thanksgiving and it was hard to get up the energy to do anything. I kept meaning to get back to it, but it doesn’t seem like I have much to say – nothing new was really going on.

Yesterday I started knitting lessons at a great little place in Oregon City called Wynona studio.  Our instructor J.J. was fantastic; funny, patient, knowledgable, and funny.  She had us start with casting on 20 stitches, then knitting 3 rows.  Once we got that, J.J. had us knit 3 stitches, purl 14 stitches, the knit the last 3 stitches.  We did this for 18 rows (homework) and finished with three more rows of knitting.  Did I mention that J.J. is really funny?

Today we’re just hanging out and the boys are getting ready for the Super Bowl.  I finished one washcloth and am starting another.