12 May 2008

Mother's Day at the Duck Pond

Surely spring has arrived in Portland. Last weekend there were plant sales all over town. I hit three in the immediate area on Saturday, and came home with four tomato plants (please oh please let this be a better season than last), yet another ornamental grass I'll stick somewhere out front, a hardy begonia and an epimedium, both ostensibly shade-lovers, for the dim recesses of the back yard, plus a sweet little birdhouse-on-a-stick garden sculpture/ornament thingy.

The Eastmoreland Garden and Woodstock sales were low key, laid back, and laden with bargains. Not so the one at the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden; cars were parked up and down 28th Avenue, and the Reed lot across the street was filled. On Sunday, I dragged Jer back there, along with our friends Jen and Drew, who were visiting from the Bay Area. This time I took my camera, because the rhodies and azaleas were just about at their peak.

Crystal Springs Lake, a.k.a. the duck pond -- a marvelous understatement -- is a year-round waterfowl habitat. This time of year, the duckling and gosling population is blossoming as well. I especially love the wood duck chicks, which are as exquisitely marked as their parents.

Jen's lovely daughter Laura, who goes to Reed, came over for Mother's Day brunch. Jer made strawberry and toasted-almond pancakes, and champagne was poured.

So, here's to moms, including mine, who was very much in my thoughts last weekend. She had an incredible green thumb, and I've inherited her love of gardening, among many other things. Yes, that's me in the picture; it was cold in Chicago in December 1947.

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