Preparing to Bring Houseplants Back Inside

It’s that time of year again. The nights are getting cooler here in Portland. We’re dipping down into the high 40s occasionally, so I think it’s time to think about bringing my citrus and other houseplants I had put out on the porch for summer back inside for the winter.

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Root Pruning (or Slowly Killing) the Strawberry Tree

There is a strawberry tree planted in the front yard that (in my opinion) needs to move. The strawberry tree fruit are not very tasty, and this tree is taking up valuable real estate in the relatively sunny front yard, and it’s planted kind of awkwardly in the yard and is going to (very soon) be much too big for the space.

So it needs to go.

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Fig Leaf Ice Cream

The fig tree in the front yard (the tree that gets the most sunlight) is producing plenty of figs these days. Yum!

Nate and I had tried making fig ice cream a few years ago. It was….not a success, to say the least. It turned out like a block of ice.

Now, I prefer eating my figs fresh. A few months ago, I came across a recipe for fig leaf ice cream. Hmmm….

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Trying to Direct Sow Beets and Carrots…yet again

I planted beets and carrots in this area earlier in the season. A couple came up, but not very well, and the bean teepee leaned over putting them in almost 100% shade, so nothing really came of them.

The beans have been eaten by the deer. There are a few stragglers still on the vines, so I’ve just propped the bean teepee back up to clear this space for sowing more seeds.

From left to right, I’m planting scallions, chervil, cilantro and parsley, purple carrots, and two varieties of beets in the last two rows.

I’m just hoping to get a few plants going that I can cover and overwinter so I can get a headstart in the spring.

I sowed these seeds exactly one week ago (Sept 5). I was in the garden yesterday and I don’t see any seedlings yet. I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong? Perhaps they’re not getting enough water? I don’t think lack of light or warmth should be a problem for germination of these plants. Perhaps the seeds are bad…

Or maybe I just need to be more patient.

Foliage Friday: Choisya Orange Blossom

I’m continuing with Foliage Fridays. I had a few other ideas for a Friday series (recipes, native plants, …) but for now I’m sticking with Foliage Fridays. I still can’t identify many of the plants in my own backyard, and I’d really like to change that!

Today’s Foliage Friday is this shrub around the back of our house by the porch steps. It’s growing in a part shade area.

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My Favorite Summer Sandwich

I know there are people in the world who don’t like tomatoes, but I don’t understand that. My absolute favorite thing to eat in summer is a tomato mayo sandwich. I suppose it’s a BLT without the bacon or lettuce…so just a T?

It’s essential to use a large, juicy tomato. I forgot to take a photo of it before I sliced it – I was just so excited to eat it. Best part of summer. Tomatoes….yum!