Sunday, January 17, 2010

Green rubber boots

These boots were a Christmas present from Ray. Today I wore them for the first time. We went out to the garden center yesterday to look at bare root fruit trees on sale and got carried away. We came home with a small truckload of stuff for the yard, so today we went out in the drizzly rain to decide where it was all going to go. Understand, I don't do much actual planting, but I help with placement. Ray is really the brains and brawn behind the landscaping, but I'm glad he asks for my input. I think he has a little tendancy to line things up and spread them out too much. I favor grouping and staggering. We compromise and it seems to work out.

One of the things I love about living in the Northwest is that even in the midst of winter—January for goodness sake!—there is still green and even now things are sprouting buds and coming back to life. The rain keeps it all looking shiny and clean and the moss dresses up even the inanimate objects with zippy, brilliant green touches here and there.

Walking through the garden center yesterday, at one point I stopped in my tracks and could not walk away until I found the source of the most intoxicating fragrance. Sarcococca. Wonderful! We bought two and carried them around the yard today imagining where we would most like to enjoy that perfume. Sitting on the new, not-yet-finished little patio, walking up the front walk? Serendipitously, Kim wrote about sarcococca on her blog yesterday. We were on the same wavelength. Her photo of brown hydrangea flowers looked just like the one out front here that I feared was dead. But today it has green buds on the stem.

Right now the yard is a jumble of stuff, but it will all come together. It is all potential.

New plants to planted.

These will turn into something.

I came in the house and couldn't get my boots off. I'm serious. Could. Not. Get. Them. Off. I pushed, I pulled, I stepped on the heel of one and tried pulling my foot out. Nothing worked and I was beginning to feel a little panicky, like when you can't get your head through your turtleneck, but it has gone far enough that pulling it backward threatens to rip your ears off. (This doesn't happen to you? Well, your head isn't as big as mine, I guess.) I finally called Ray and he pulled them off. This is a problem I need to figure out. There must be some aid made for this purpose. Let me know if you know what it would be.

My friend, Ginny's husband Chris has gone to Haiti with Medical Teams International. He is an orthopedic surgeon, whose skills are urgently needed there. People are dying from complications and infections from broken bones. Incomprehensible. One of the Drs on the team is keeping a blog that you can read here.


  1. How about a boot jack, Terry? (assuming that's how they are referred to in places other than the uk)

    Looking forward to reading about the garden developments!

  2. I saw that entry on Kim's blog. Her photography alone is worth a visit.
    I must pay more attention to the plants in the nursery. Maybe it wouldn't grow in my zone though-too cold.
    Wonderful face studies the last couple of days. Frida being my personal fav.

  3. Susan LT4:23 AM

    Evocactive piece, Terry. I really like your ideas on scent gardening. Have long thought a scent garden, with nothing but white blooms, would be a cool night-time hang-out.

  4. When I was a kid, we used to put our sock feet in bread bags before putting them into the boots so we could slide them off easier.

    I would love some of your green here in PA... This morning it is raining and the ice and snow is melting... I like to see the snow better than the shades of brown... maybe in 2 months I can get out in the gardens to explore.... Main planting doesn't start here until May.

  5. there is a gizmo for removing tight fitting boots. You should get one if you are going to wear them often. I enjoyed walking in your landscape on Thursday and imagining what you and Ray will do there.

  6. See link below (hope it works, and I have no connection with the company, only using picture as example!)

    We keep one on our doorstep and it works quite well (as long as you remember to stand on the tail with the other foot) - it's very nasty trying to prise muddy wellies off with your hands!

  7. Terry..go to Wilco and get a boot jack....great for taking off boots that have been in the corrals if you get my drift...last thing you wanted to do was touch them with your gloves or your bare hands!

    I like the Wilco in Newberg or McMinnville as they are good sized, hey who knows what you and Ray could find that you didn't even know you needed...Hardware store on steroids. (Coastal Farm and Ranch in OR City will have them as well.)

  8. I don't suppose coating your feet in olive oil first would help?

    Seriously, thanks for putting sarcococca on my garden radar. I hadn't heard of it. I was going to ask you for the full name -- variety, cultivar or whatever -- but you can probably identify what you want by the smell.

  9. I think olive oil is the way to go -- although I myself am going to be dipping into walnut and safflower oil soon, so you could borrow some of that.

    I don't know sarcococca -- gonna have to find some in the neighborhood. There's a grand garden up the street that has winter shrubs (the name has just left my brain) but it's too early for daphne. Sigh.

  10. Something worth a try for the boots... sprinkle some baby powder or foot powder in them.

  11. Love the new look to your blog. Your old heading was quite wonderful as well, but so familiar it had become invisible. Nice to shake us up every now and then!

  12. Anonymous4:47 PM

    I'm with Sue! We used to put our feet in plastic bags! ;-)