Garden Weekend

May 13, 2008

For starters:

Current project.  I’ve been meaning take a picture while this is still on the loom because I wanted to show the way the weft glints in the light.  Our living room is dark because it faces east and there are big conifers.  When I open the curtains in the morning there is nice diffuse daylight on the loom for just a couple of hours, which was when I took this picture, but the glints don’t show.  The light will be gone as soon as the Tree of Hell across the fence comes back into leaf.

When civilization ends, the world will be a forest of Tree-of-Heaven populated by rats.

You can tell I’ve got plants on the brain.  We went to two gardens this weekend: the Hulda Klager Lilac Garden and the Portland Japanese Garden.  I knew Mother’s Day was not a good time for these outings, but I thought we could beat the crowds at the Lilac Garden by going a day early.  It was teeming and trampled!  I would not have made the trip just to see those abused lilacs, so it’s a good thing I got to go inside the house.

Hulda Klager’s house wasn’t a typical Pacific Northwest Victorian or a typical farmhouse, but a kind of German-farmer marriage of the two.  Every room is attractively and generously proportioned–none of the Victorian habit of sticking an assortment of bump-your-head crannies next to great drafty parlours.  I noticed how well it makes use of passive heating and cooling: the transoms, window placement, open stairway, ceiling height, and a wonderful big “potting porch” transitioning to a side entrance!

The potting room was my favorite.  Hulda’s garden hat and grafting knife were there.  Her “grafting knife” was a hefty, much-sharpened pocket knife.  Her hat was a faded red Chinese-farmer hat made of cornhusks (bamboo leaves?) over a venting rattan base.

And I said, “Hulda has my hat!”  I’ve been looking for a rice-paddy hat for a long time.  A regular straw hat with a fitted brim gets sweaty and itchy.  I picked one up at a church yard sale, but it’s not nearly so nice as Hulda’s.

I didn’t bring my camera to the Lilac Garden, but I brought it to the Japanese Garden the next day.

Can you tell I hate taking pictures?  No?  Good.  It was so crowded, photography was not going to make much difference to my enjoyment.  Oddly, the fact that I left all the F.A.s and H.A.s* out of the frame means that I recorded a completely different experience from the one we actually had there.  If we lived in Portland we would buy a membership, then we could go often enough to figure out when it’s least crowded, and make it a regular place to walk.  I thought the azaleas would be peak this weekend, but they weren’t.  The garden is up a hill and in a bit of a frost pocket.  Maybe we’ll go back for the color.


*This is the code I devised so I could complain softly about them in public: F.A.= Fat Asses and H.A.= Hyper Asses.  Our asses are as fat as the next (and fatter).  By fat I refer not to size, but to the “shoving in front of you then standing still for no reason,” the “no physical or mental awareness of other bodies in the vicinity,” and the “group portrait photo-shoot while you wait” attributes of the asses in question.  Hyper Asses wrestle their stunned babies over steep gravel paths in strollers while talking loudly to their spouses in French.


2 Responses to “Garden Weekend”

  1. Jane Says:

    Love your code words. They will now move into my own brain — I’m likely to blurt them out in some overloud whisper at some point, though — I just know it!


  2. Leigh Says:

    I love what you’re weaving. I can imagine the glints even though they aren’t prominent. Welcome to WeaveRing and the textile blogosphere!

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