Sunday, April 15, 2012

"Oh, what a beautiful daaaaaay"

Busy Saturday started with a meeting of the planning committee for the Washington County Open Studios tour at my house this morning. It was a great meeting, but that meant we all left with stuff to do. I am handling the registrations. Ray went off with his guy friends on another mission of the Burger Project. They call it "the quest for the perfect Burger," but it is really just an excuse for five old guys to get together and eat unhealthy food. They seem to have fun. Once we got all that out of the way we headed south toward Aurora, Oregon for a garden show and sale out in the farmland. They called it "Gardenpalooza."

Great day for a drive in the country. The farms and fields south of Portland are amazingly beautiful all times of year, but springtime is the best. We parked out in a field and headed for the tents and big glass house. Lots of beautiful plants and flowers and garden art.

What the heck is this thing? Amazing looking. I have a feeling it is not native to Oregon.

Such great color.

We bought a tiny Japanese maple that may someday be as big as this beauty.

Tulip magnolia. The smell was divine.

The only crabby person I encountered was the purveyor of these cast concrete leaves. She came lunging at me snarling, "no photos, NO PHOTOS!" just as I snapped this photo. I guess she believes this has never been done and someone might steal her idea. Umm. OK.

The guy selling these pieces just smiled when I took the photo.

We took the back roads home, through farm country and several small, quaint towns, with a stop in Aurora which has an interesting history, having been founded as a utopian religious commune in the mid 1800s. It is now filled with old, restored buildings and houses and antique stores.

As we headed homeward, we turned on the car radio and Garrison Keiller and friends were closing the Prairie Home Companion show with a rendition of "Oh, What a Beautiful Morning." Indeed.


  1. The stamen on that unusual flower makes me think it's some fancy variety of hibiscus that's not completely opened yet. I've seen ones growing down like that, though the one I photographed has fringy petals that curl back up.

  2. Yes, I agree, it was a day for lunch in the country and garden projects. Choosing to ignore the huge list of work I needed to do after the meeting, we headed to the South Shore Cafe in Scholls, fabulous mushroom soup, and the Berry Farm is across the road with plants and garden bits for sale. And continuing on the Ray note, have they tried Dickie Jos in Tualatin yet?

  3. Anonymous9:24 AM

    Thanks for the "spring is here" brightened up my day! Beth

  4. The unidentified flower is an abutilon of some variety. Their common name here (Australia) is Chinese lantern flower, but I don't know what they might be called in the US.

  5. It looks like the abutilon commonly called flowering maple here. You can actually get them to winter over, if you're careful (and lucky).