Linniew?

Linniew

Dear Reader,

It’s really Linnie W.  (I know Linniew looks much more interesting, and possibly French, but oh well.)

My garden is in the central Willamette Valley of Oregon, which I’m told is zone 8a, rainy and mild but with three dry months in summer, very nice indeed. (We do experience the occasional volcano and are solemnly promised an earthquake which will flatten everything so really we mostly garden just to take our minds off those things.)

I like to write and, inspired by the extreme joy I find in keeping this blog, I have undertaken a gardening book (isn’t that exciting!) as a way to share with the world my massive garden wisdom so if you know any book agents or publishers please do send them my way.

In any case know that I love it when you leave a comment.

xo   Linnie W.

35 Responses to Linniew?

  1. Kathy says:

    Hi Linnie –

    I’m a fellow PNW gardener and am enjoying your blog. This year I’m determined to find the time to do some hypertufa-ing. Thanks for the tips!

    • linniew says:

      Welcome Kathy! Many thanks for checking in here.
      I hope to see you back or run into you again at Dave’s Garden –or elsewhere in the mysterious internet ether!

      -Linnie

  2. Mark Willis says:

    Hi Linnie; I’ve never written a book, but I love being able to express my thoughts via my blog. My motive in setting up a blog was primarily to showcase my garden, which I love even more than writing. I hope you will visit my blog and have a look. My primary interest is in edible plants, but I am slowly being weaned onto ornamentals as well.

  3. David says:

    Hi Linnie W. Thanks for stumbling on to my blog. I’m with Mark, mostly vegetables, but my wife keeps all sorts of flora blooming outdoors and in. We have a short growing season in mid-state NH but extend things as best we can with various Zone 5A tricks. I spent some time in Oregon as a purported college student.

    • linniew says:

      Hi David
      Yeah I was a purported college student here for years.
      My greenhouse extends the growing season here, but NH must be much more of a challenge. I bet it’s worth it though based on a short visit I made once to New England. I could live there except my grown children are west coast.
      -L

  4. Hi Linnie. Thanks for adding me to your “Starsome Blogs” list- what an honor! I loved the description of your blog that you left in the comments section, so I had to stop by. I never thought gardening could be so funny!

    P.S. Your garden dog is adorable.

    • linniew says:

      Thanks so much for reading here Moonbeam, I’m really pleased!
      Yes gardening is pretty funny at my house, but I don’t like to think of what the variables are that contribute to that. Life is a cabaret. Max sends you his best wag.

  5. Cathy says:

    Linnie, I am rooting some lavender, clematis, and wisteria this AM. I’m following your directions on the clematis because I did it that “other” way, and well, I need to do it again. I have a gorgeous one that has blue cup-shaped flowers that look like little bells. Okay, medium sized bells. I’m setting up a few extras. If this works, I’ll ship you some! Also, my Sweet Autumn seeded itself everywhere but where it was supposed to be growing. I’m attempting to pot those up without killing them as well. Let me know if you’d like one. (You get my email via the posting info…. email and we can continue this conversation… ) I’m mediocre at rooting things but pretty fantastic at shipping them and getting them to their destination safely. I actually mailed an entire shade garden to a “Secret Sister” once. Craziest thing I ever did.

    PS… We have roses growing among the blueberries. You can munch while you deadhead…. it’s called multi-tasking.

  6. Alberto says:

    Linnie, I started reading your blog just a few days ago and I think your comments are very funny. I was just wondering how much beer you do need to be so funny… or is it natural?! 🙂

    • linniew says:

      Welcome Alberto!
      Actually I write with coffee. (Beer makes me happy but the writing definitely suffers.) And just so you KNOW, I do love wine as well. But we have lots of small breweries making great beer in my region, and then of course beer IS one of the Important Food Groups. I really appreciate your reading my blog, many thanks!

  7. Fay says:

    Having nearly choked to death laughing over your hamlet post, I feel we must be firm friends one day. But, please don’t send me a lemon killer cucumber, please.

  8. stuart says:

    Enjoyed your piece on hollyhocks, which I stumbled upon whilst researching whether my 10′ + hollyhocks will straighten up now that I’ve finally got round to tying them to stakes. Next year I’ll tie them in as they grow. Promise.

    • linniew says:

      Dear jso,
      I think hollyhocks over ten feet tall don’t need a stake, they need a scaffold. So glad you found your way here through the internet tangle. Please come again– And I don’t even care if you forget to stake the hollyhocks next year. You should see the way my Casablanca lilies are tipping this very moment…
      -L

  9. Alistair says:

    Linnie, you know why I am back, just checked my garden page again, your already there. I told you I was getting old. Avoided coming back to your current post again, I mean I don’t want everyone to know that I am daft.

  10. I just wanted to stop by and say how much I am LOVING your blog!! I’ve been following for a while now, but if you’re like me you love hearing it…hehe! keep up your writing, its refreshing, fun and a wonderful read!! Cheers Julia xx

  11. Erin Bechtel says:

    Hey lennie, anyone ever tell you you write like Dave Berry?..hope you are old enough to
    Know who he is!,,,I sure am…do pray keep posting,we love it! Now off to conquer frogs or
    Their corking will drive me hopping MAD….

    • linniew says:

      Hiya Erin & welcome!
      Dave who? Well yeah maybe. He does make me laugh which is important like chocolate coffee and beer (food groups). I hope you had the right frog conquering gear, they can be dangerous.

      xo L

  12. Anonymous says:

    I found your blog through searching the internet for a Flora garden statue. After seeing your picture, I am having a hard time finding one as pretty…….or dressed. Could you direct me to a source to purchase? Thank you!

  13. Xyila says:

    Dear Linniew:
    Last night I had the great good fortune to discover your blog while randomly and fortuitously Googling, having entered into the search bar the phrase “I love my Riga greenhouse” during a conversation with a friend.
    I was sharing with her my greenhouse of dreams approach: “Build (k)it and they will grow”.
    Ever the diplomat, she was forewarning me that greenhouses do not create green thumbs.
    My imagination knows no bounds, yet I cannot imagine why she thinks this would be the case.
    I can easily fantasize an independent, self sufficient vividly colourful life spent puttering with edible plants inside and all around a spacious Riga, while Moxie, my all seeing and all knowing Cairn, explores and oversees everything in the vicinity, including what I do and don’t do with her. My mister agrees it would be doable to build a Riga from a kit and yes, we have the room.
    Personally, I am not held back by details like being a gardening neophyte, so I see no reason why one cannot reap harvest benefits almost immediately by dabbling in four season “when the mood takes me” gardening, somehow able to grow salads and green smoothie ingredients with intuitive ease.
    Surely all that is needed is occasional seasonal availability, right?
    Does my friend’s hesitation serve to deter my assumption that if you can manage to find the perfect greenhouse then the feast will spring to the finish line all on its own? Not at all.
    Last night I read some of your choice postings aloud to her. Her life is so impossibly busy that she must multitask even while we share phone time late in the evening.
    Sharing your blog had us both in repeat stitches.
    She and I concur that your take on gardening and all things related, including Max, is both brilliant and apt.
    Perhaps I should add that my friend is a renaissance kinda gal – holds public office, not to mention she is an organic gardener, and a beekeeper.
    It follows that she is therefore adamant about cell tower hazards for miles around, be they in tree drag or otherwise, and we share sensible concern about pervasive wireless tentacles, especially the most invasive ones of all, from the smart grid blanket.
    In any case, I wanted to thank you for providing such witty garden tales.
    To find humour and gardening conjoined only serves to further obdurate idea that flourishing veggie and orna-“mental” horticultural art can someday be achieved by anyone – even me.
    Some may call this delusional.
    I call it inspired.
    All the best,
    Xyila

    • linniew says:

      Dear Xyila,
      I loved your comments. Thanks for taking the time to write. The cell tower in “tree drag” is hysterical– wish I had thought of it. Anyway, you are of course totally correct that you will adore a greenhouse. I have never had any regrets about the Riga design, but I know gardeners with other sorts of greenhouses and always they are thrilled with them. I knew nothing of plant propagation when I began, but seeds, like children, are set to go and usually you have to make some pretty obvious mistakes before you can throw them seriously off track.

      I know I find more romance and mystery in gardening than some more practical people, but I have never been very practical. –L

      ps: Max sends wags to Moxie!

  14. Xyila says:

    Thank you, Linniew, for your prompt reply.
    I so agree.
    The romance of flowers, unfurling deep green leaves, dew drop covered petals, the mystery, this is all is part of the enormous appeal.
    Imagine knowing everything there is to know about anything. What would be the point after that?
    I ponder the challenges of living with a going concern terrier, as well as writing, photography and gardening. Must one be anchored to it, like my green thumbed apiary friend, a multi-tasker who barely sleeps and never gets away?
    Watch me rationalize that a lovely spacious greenhouse is not only doable but indispensable. Here goes: History and human nature make it so.
    Once we become accustomed to whatever is considered to be contentment, amnesia develops. Forgetful, we assume the good life will always be thus, …when in fact history proves time and again that easy times and peace are rare, anomalous, and that a single ice storm can evaporate plentiful food from store shelves overnight.
    It is the unforeseen which really determines how we handle unpredictability. For instance, last year at this time, stealth smart meter “deployment” created an overnight necessity, ever the mother of invention. We scavenged, recycled and constructed an impromptu, polycarbonate roofed, steel doored, locked breezeway enclosure to protect our electromechanical electricity meter from a swap out, – just in the nick of time, as it happens.
    See? A greenhouse is no longer an indulgence, it’s a necessity! I want front row seats for what at first may only begin as a shoulder season performance of A Greenhouse of One’s Own, the perfect structure wherein nearly everything one needs for independent eating can somehow be made to thrive and co-exist within one lovely space of one’s own making.
    Although it seems now like another life, an eternity ago I once gardened. For two separate seasons I grew large, tasty vegetables – as a renter.
    Ultimately, I graduated top a colour co-ordinated panoply of scented full grown rhododendrons, and mature rose and rock gardens shaded with three season companion Japanese maples. Lilies and water irises rose from a koi pond, an inverted old fashioned shower head and a hidden recycling pump, creating an aerating fountain at the pond’s centre.
    Nothing is quite so memorable as a garden born of the boundless energy inspired by finally owning a first home as the bottomless renewable inspiration for original reno ideas, at last a garden to call one’s very own, the enthusiasm which transmutes soil into unique arrangements, plants lovingly cultivated and hand nurtured, hybrid roses like so many petulant beauty queens, demanding to be handled just so or else refusing to perform at all, all of it a time long gone.
    If memory serves, even a quarter acre of random blossoms was hardly a part time pursuit.
    Which is exactly why the other day I said to my gardener friend who said that a greenhouse does not suit my lifestyle…. “But how about if everything were to be first correctly set up in the spring, then left to run on auto pilot? Or what if the greenhouse were only used for fall and winter gardening, when colours can come to mean everything during the drab rain filled days of the west coast winter?”
    Perhaps I long for a greenhouse the way a child longs for a playhouse. If so, why not? Isn’t such dabbling and plant play one way to rediscover the path back to the timeless, fully absorbed, blissfully unselfconscious innocence of halcyon days?
    So I asked what else edible plants could possibly need, … other than maybe auto misting, a drip watering system, classical music, all on timers?
    Might gardening in absentia enable Moxie and me to take leave of the foothills in search of the much needed Pacific air?
    Granted, hauling a garden along in the car would not be an option when Moxie and I do head off to vacation at the beach.
    However, it was pointed out to me that prolonged absenteeism from a seasonally abandoned greenhouse is an oxymoronic impossibility, that at best greenhouses are season extenders, not self contained winter gardening structures, that besides, did I know that greenhouses are known to spontaneously combust in the heat of summer and burn down one’s empty home.
    Really? I suspect that the spontaneous combustion pretext may be mere confabulation, born of exasperation and concern about what seems to be my creative impracticality.
    My dear garden worthy friend insists that one simply cannot go off on prolonged trips, as if this were some seasonal witness relocation program, and still be able to call oneself a self respecting gardener.
    I find this assertion…. well, …. too limiting.
    There must be a way to produce the means for winter steamed veggies without having to hover, and to return to autumn salad able to match himself’s halibut, salmon, and rainbow trout, meal for meal.
    But that is where the preeminent doggie rights of my brindle beauty Moxie come into their own, she an inveterate summer beachcomber, who more than ever, now at 13, must have her fill of ephemeral delights, must bound on ahead into her leash-less life of glorious stretches of empty sand beaches and deceased sea creature sniffies.
    So, for the moment, once late spring begins in earnest, Moxie and I must “away to the ocean”, … at which juncture himself will once again head off to a lake, phone-less, for seamless weeks of fishing and boating, laid back with occasional visits by buddies who also take time out from marriage to kayak across the water to join him at the minimalist off grid bolthole.
    Perhaps, then, I may order the greenhouse soon, while I can, take delivery, store all 800 pounds of boxes, , but still not wait for the perfect glorious garden moment to pass me by.
    Whatever is a wannabe greenhouse longing part time former amateur gardener gal to do?
    Enough of this whinging. I do apologize – a thousand words later.

    • linniew says:

      Xyila, you are clearly conflicted here. Stay home and water/transplant/openclose doors/kill bugs, or play by the ocean with sweet Moxie. But just because you choose the ocean doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the greenhouse, a little less intensely plantwise maybe than your busy friend. Certainly she is right that plants need attention, although I can’t quite feature that fear of spontaneous combustion… But the greenhouse can also be a sunroom in winter, where you go hang out with the Meyer lemon tree and drink coffee and read. Lots of possibilities, especially if you establish automated watering/cooling that is dependable. And dead plants compost so nicely.

      • Xyila says:

        “It was pointed out to me that prolonged absenteeism from a seasonally abandoned greenhouse is an oxymoronic impossibility”

        Hi Linnie –
        Xy (and Moxie) here:
        Well here it is nearly five months later. I wanted to get back to you to tell you that you were right, in as much as there was a conflict of wants in need of a resolution.Moxie has her treasure of seaside sniffies and sandy walks and I have my seasonal greenhouse garden.
        Just wanted to let you know that your optimistic encouragement bore fruit – literally. The challenge was to unravel the secret of how to have my garden and eat it.
        What I came up with was not a travelling garden or a full sized greenhouse but …what a great compromise it is, for now. I still want to end up with a four season overwintering greenhouse. That will happen – just not yet.
        Well something had to give so what had to go was the “spacious” part.
        Imagine a gardening container which is a mere 5 feet tall.
        Oh come on. Child’s play is not authentic gardening, right? Maybe not but ultra low maintenance gardening with ease can be done this way, and all at slightly less than waist height. All the greenery I can eat has for months now been flourishing in a 6”deep pluperfect soil filled, solidly framed raised bed greenhouse. This is the ultimate laid back yet satisfying hands on gardening experience I longed to get back into.
        Visualize a a kit. After 5 or so hours of steady construction by himself this transforms into a 4’x4′ miniature polycarbonate greenhouse over a shallow soil bed, a greenhouse space which comprises the top half of a two story structure, the lower half of which is a hollow storage shed with two slide up sides to access stored garden items. The upper half is rather like a miniature dollhouse with two openable sides which covers an area roughly the size of two double sinks, side by side. The whole thing is solidly held together with galvanized steel and aluminium framing. Each 6″ deep by 4′ long two drain sink is lined with landscape fabric. Each drain hole has its own drain tube. All four tubes meet in a water catchment bucket underneath in the storage area. The upper greenhouse area has two winged side walls. Two of the four sides can be locked shut for wind proofing or during cold weather, or be partially vented. Both sides also lock upright into a vertical position above the greenhouse. In hot or buggy weather the whole frame is able to support a cover of remay cloth with clothes pegs to secure it to the greenhouse upper frame. The nutrient rich drained water can be recycled from the catchment bucket underneath and used to water again the next day.
        My play garden is very concentrated, a salad, veggies, fruit and flower filled miniature greenhouse spilling over with colour and edible bounty.
        This l’il thing is darling. A square foot gardening cedar lathe grid system is imposed on each double sink to create clear boundaries for a variety of plantings. This small, manageable space keeps bees happy amongst the nasturtiums while pollinating the beans, and provides a variety of part time greens for one person throughout a growing season.
        No digging, no weeding, just hands, a trowel, a pencil for seed holes, scissors to trim leaves as needed, and a well designed composter nearby. Come cool weather, the leftovers are composted, the soil is removed, the playhouse goes away …and so do Moxie and I, until next spring when my child sized garden playhouse will begin anew.

        • linniew says:

          Dear Xy (and Moxie)
          Congratulations! You have found the perfect arrangement for your garden — I can feel the love and satisfaction in your words. I’ve learned that there is no “authentic” garden experience. It is whatever it is for you. I have patience and energy for some things and not for others, and, at least for me, gardening is done for the joy of it. The scale and timing must fit the rest of life, and if that includes folding up the garden and putting it away in the fall, then that is perfect. Well done Xy!

          • Xy says:

            Linnie:
            Thanks for your kind endorsement of my “where there’s a will there’s always a way” philosophy of gardening on the go.
            Chapter Two: That first miniature doll sized greenhouse has since been joined by several more. That said, this winter’s equally significant discovery was portable air gardening to augment gardening immersion. The oxymoronic concept of garden portability was the main challenge. The answer? Travel friendly, compact, lightweight gardens/ Luckily, NASA applied the science of outer space gardening, in answer to the question of scarcity of fresh garden food for astronauts.
            The staple of remay draped 4 X 4 square foot gardening conducive multiple small greenhouse(s) now begging to be played in all spring, summer and autumn, have been augmented with the addition of even tinier aeropods. These exceed my wildest hopes, the rapid growth bridge to over wintering gardens. Enter travel friendly indoor garden air pods, thriving beneath adjustable height built in 30 watt LED lights. Rapid silent garden growth, busting out in all directions throughout the most drizzly dark days, cut-and-come-again, compact delicious winter food gardens right in the kitchen, accessible, even in the the midst of Ark worthy west coast rain and bone chilling cold. Not a replacement for gardening outdoors but it cannot be beat for a way to have shallow rooted edibles on hand year round. Entire herb, lettuce, veggie and flower pods able to live on nutrietn enriched mists. Seems apt, somehow.
            Have-pods-will-travel double as seed starters to get the jump on masses of proliferating gorgeous herb, and salad greenery in dead of winter, witih optional outdoor transplanting when frost days have passed and soil warms.
            And then there is the piece de resistance, agricultural aloe vera, the safe organic answer to vastly accelerated lush growth of just about anything even while this aloe vera serves as an effective deterrent to myriad soil pests.
            Plug and play pods and aloe vera. Who knew?
            Instructions: Unplug plant pod. Place in rubber bin. Locate on backseat floor below Moxie and Boodah the cat’s travel crates. Aim car in direction of the Pacific ocean. Drive. Arrive. Plug aerogarden back in, top up with charcoal filtered water. All nutrient schedules are stored in memory. Ta daa!
            PS:
            Addition of a whole house suppressor/arrestor protects electronics of these tiny garden pods or anything electronic or electrical, for that matter, keeping them safe from surges and spikes. That way, the not all that smart grid dirty electricity cannot ruin anything via “smart” voltage transients.
            Equally effective way to protect loved ones’ bio-electricity, not to mention to protect 1926 electrical components in that gorgeous stove when it is subjected to 21st century wireless grid voltage transients. Speaking of which, there is always the unprovable long shot possibility that unconscious memories of previous lives might draw one back to such irresistible vintage objects.
            Off to pack the car, Moxie is keenly aware that departure approaches and as I write she is busy keening the air in search of soon to be fascinating distant beaches.
            All the best,
            Xy

            • linniew says:

              Xy I am dazzled at your adventurous gardening. And hi-tech, way beyond my experience. But I am in total accord with the previous lives idea. Have a great time by my ocean! (I’m happy to share my ocean.)

  15. Tim says:

    Searching the WWW for a “solution” to a garden problem I discovered you have/had a similar problem with Lesser Celandine. Have your methods of digging it out had any success in eradicating it, or has it reappeared this year? I have been trying for years to achieve some control over this problem, but to no avail. My latest idea is to try to grow something equally aggressive and invasive. Any ideas?

    • linniew says:

      Hi Tim
      I made a big assault on the celandine last year, after I discovered its true and evil nature. It has made a difference, but I can see it will be an ongoing struggle in smaller battles over time. I may never rid the gardens of it completely, but it will never again be allowed to run amuck at will as in the past. Your idea of a botanical counter-attack is interesting. It seems to me it would have to be a plant that emerges very early, before the celandine, and is dense and taller. And something that won’t become a sort of double agent and turn on you. Good luck in your mission, and let me know how it goes!

  16. Linniew, worried and wondering about you and Max! Are you working on a feature film, a book? Or have some of the spirits there transported you to some unearthly realm?

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