Sunday, February 15, 2009

Mom and Dad's Garden

*Big gulp of fresh air.*

Ah! It's good to be home! Oxygen? My smog-filled lungs aren't used to that!

Day 2 Mom's and Dad's Garden 1

When my parents moved into this neighborhood, there were only five houses on our street. This whole back area used to be filled with trees. It's being developed much faster than I'd like and I rarely see deer, rabbits, or partridges as often as I used to. :(

It's still a work in progress, but do you want to see my parents' garden? This is the view straight down from "my" bedroom window. Yup, I still have a room reserved just for me. :)

Day 2 Mom's and Dad's Garden 2

To the left corner is my mom's rose garden.

Day 2 Mom's and Dad's Garden 3

Let's go downstairs and out the front door. Lil' sis painted that picture for my mom. The begonia was once a small cutting I got from a friend. My mom has since made multiple begonia cuttings and passed them on to me.

Day 2 Mom's and Dad's Garden 4

So fragrant. I don't know it's name in English.

Day 2 Mom's and Dad's Garden 5

Bong xu (Vietnamese desert rose). I brought back cuttings from my last trip to Vietnam. There's one on each side of the door.

Day 2 Mom's and Dad's Garden 6

Then we go around the side so you can see my mom's nursery where she plants edibles and propagates more plants. Look at her upside-down tomato plant. In front of it is the persimmon tree lil' sis and I brought up. Can you see lil' sis grinning in the window?

Day 2 Mom's and Dad's Garden 7

My mom drove past a house that had one of these upside-down tomato plants. So she decided to make her own by forcing it through the bottom of a regular pot. No need for fancy equipment. It seems to produce more tomatoes than planted upright too. Go figure.

Day 2 Mom's and Dad's Garden 8

This is the small nursery my dad built for my mom so she could grow all their edibles. The chayote vine keeps coming back year after year. Cucumbers on the right down below. Let's go inside, shall we?

Day 2 Mom's and Dad's Garden 9

Look at the size of my mom's strawberry plants!

Day 2 Mom's and Dad's Garden 10

She's propagating more roses.

Day 2 Mom's and Dad's Garden 11

Su su (Vietnamese chayote).

Day 2 Mom's and Dad's Garden 12

Day 2 Mom's and Dad's Garden 13

Day 2 Mom's and Dad's Garden 14


It's Penny and Sebastien, my parents' chihuahuas. They've been with us since they were two months old. They're 13 years old now. Poor Sebastien, he's had this skin condition since he was a baby and the bald spot keeps getting bigger and bigger. We've tried every medicine the vet gives us to no avail.

Day 2 Mom's and Dad's Garden 15

Yay! Penny jumps for joy because I'm home. :)

Day 2 Mom's and Dad's Garden 16

Come play!

Day 2 Mom's and Dad's Garden 17

Day 2 Mom's and Dad's Garden 18

Sebastien is a little more subdued than his sister.

Day 2 Mom's and Dad's Garden 19

We continue our tour on the right side. My mom bought the lighted reindeer at the thrift store for about $4. She's trying to train a small ivy to make it a topiary.

Day 2 Mom's and Dad's Garden 20

Day 2 Mom's and Dad's Garden 21

Continuing on, you see pomegranate, plum, and nectarine trees.

Day 2 Mom's and Dad's Garden 22

Anyone know what the giant plant is? My mom bought it as a bareroot for $5 because the bag said it was a shade tree and they figured it would shade the basement window. Only three months old and the leaves are big enough to hide behind. My parents eventually chopped this tree down and replaced it with the persimmon tree we brought up.

Day 2 Mom's and Dad's Garden 23

Mom's rose garden.

Day 2 Mom's and Dad's Garden 24

More winding paths.

Day 2 Mom's and Dad's Garden 25

Sebastien sunning himself.

Day 2 Mom's and Dad's Garden 26

Getting sleepy.

Day 2 Mom's and Dad's Garden 27

Please? Come play!

Day 2 Mom's and Dad's Garden 28

The view going back. All those boulders? Big. Heavy. My daddy carried and placed every single one of them himself.

Day 2 Mom's and Dad's Garden 29

Every. Single. Boulder.

Day 2 Mom's and Dad's Garden 30

View of fuchsias and the grapevine from below the deck.

Day 2 Mom's and Dad's Garden 31

My brother didn't want his fountain anymore so my parents made a spot for it in their garden. They also keep some plants in pots and then bury those underground to limit their size.

Day 2 Mom's and Dad's Garden 32

Lil' sis' artistic shots.

Day 2 Mom's and Dad's Garden 33

Another view from above.

Day 2 Mom's and Dad's Garden 34

Bye everyone! Come back and play with us soon!

Day 2 Mom's and Dad's Garden 35

All Oregon posts can be found in the tag, Series: Oregon. I suggest reading this particular trip in this order:
I-5 From LA to Portland
Mom and Dad's Garden
Burgerville - Portland - Oregon
Hakatamon - Beaverton - Oregon
I Think I'll Go For a Walk Outside Now...
Vista Point - Oregon City
End of Oregon Trail Interpretive Center - Oregon City
Stevens-Crawford Heritage House - Oregon City
Museum of the Oregon Territory - Oregon City
Mom's Banh Xeo (Vietnamese Sizzling Crepes)
Blackberry Cobbler
Bonneville Lock and Dam - Cascade Locks - Oregon
Bonneville Hatchery - Cascade Locks - Oregon
Multnomah Falls - Columbia River Gorge - Oregon
Horsetail Falls - Columbia River Gorge - Oregon
Wahkeena Falls - Columbia River Gorge - Oregon
Bridal Veil Falls - Columbia River Gorge - Oregon
Historic Columbia River Highway - Columbia River Gorge - Oregon
Latourell Falls - Columbia River Gorge - Oregon
Crown Point Vista House - Columbia River Gorge - Oregon
Banh Cuon Tan Dinh - Portland - Oregon (Closed)
Downtown Portland - Oregon
Lan Su Chinese Garden (Portland Classical Chinese Garden) - Portland - Oregon
Powell's City of Books - Portland - Oregon
Mom's Geoduck, Dynamite-Style and Chao Oc (Vietnamese Rice Porridge with Clams)

How to Prepare Geoduck and Razor Clams
Geoduck, Japanese Dynamite-style
Chao Oc (Vietnamese Rice Porridge with Clams)
Le Bistro Montage - Portland - Oregon
Kenny and Zuke's Delicatessen - Portland - Oregon

1 year ago today, persimmon bread.
2 years ago today, BCD Tofu House - Rowland Heights.


  1. What a wonderful garden and yard your parents have. Thanks for the tour!

  2. Wow, great post! So many plants and cute little doggies. One day I hope to have as many propagating projects and beautiful boulder gardens :)

  3. I love your posts because they are very fun to read. From the picture, the mystery root looks like it might have been a catalpa tree.

  4. The garden is lovely! You reminded me of my mother's passion for planting more and more flowers in are tiny appartment :)

    But Penny and Sebastien are so adorable! That last photo is unbelievably cute!!

  5. What an interesting garden, WC, full of places to explore. Your parents have lots of beds prepared -- can't wait to see it when they've finished planting.

  6. What a lovely garden. It must have been a magical place in which to grow up. There's no place like home, no matter how old we get. Trite, perhaps, but true.

  7. LOVE the garden! BTW have your parents gotten persimmons yet? I'm in Seattle but don't think that we have enough sun/heat for it to do well here. *sigh* Had producing trees in ATL but left them behind.

  8. Beautiful garden! Your parents did an amazing job with it. I'm so jealous of all of the edibles... my green thumb is still maturing. Oh, and the doggies are too cute for words. :)

  9. I loved seeing your mom's garden.

    How clever of her to use those reindeer for topiary forms!

  10. wow it's beautiful back there! All of the trees, the garden, it seems like a nice laid back place away from the daily grind. hmmmm (long sigh) nice and tranquil!

  11. hi wc - your parents' garden is beautiful. i love the's amazing thinking of all the time and care that went into creating it (i'm thinking of your dad and the boulders).

  12. Hi there - your poor little puppy might have some food allergies - especially to the wheat in dried food - try going to a bit more of a hippie (!) diet for him - ie rice and meat or go to to their pet section and have a look...good luck :)

  13. I wish I had that kind of garden. It's spacious and so well planted. Love the veggies too. Thanks for giving us a tour. And I love the dogs too. I have one that is 16 years old, he's my "baby"!

  14. Cutest pair of dogs I have seen in a long time! I love the ending picture of them. Your parent's garden is supreme. Loved that Su Su! We have a lot of it here in Hawaii Farmer's Markets. Please give us some ideas about what to do with it!

  15. I enjoy reading your blog. By the way, the tree with the white flowers that you don't know the name in English is called Michelia Alba :)

  16. Kalyn,
    Glad you enjoyed it.

    I hope to someday be as active as my parents too!

    Thanks. I Googled Catalpa tree and that's exactly what it was. Good thing my parents chopped it down. That tree grows monstrous!

    I've been sadly lazy about my own gardening. And all I have are a few dozen pots.

    It's been a work in progress for years. The big empty space is supposed to be a terrace for dining.

    Actually, my parents moved to this house relatively recently. Way after I left for college and moved out. It's still nice to come home to though.

    That tiny persimmon tree we brought up produced one single persimmon. Their old house had tons of persimmons though so it's definitely possible in the Pacific Northwest. They're in season now in SoCal for sure.


    Thanks. My parents put in an awful lot of work.

    My mom is the queen of thrift store finds. Those reindeer were just too cheap not to try to do something with them.

    Thanks. Everyone should have a garden oasis.

    Canine Cologne,
    Those boulders are heavy! My dad also laid out the tiles on the deck and cut the marble tiles and laid them out on the front steps too. And he did the fencing. A lot of work!

    We have fed him just rice and meat and broth and that didn't seem to make a difference. He's too old now so I think that's pretty much how he's gonna be since the hair has never grown back ever.

    Co Toan,
    My parents started with a mostly empty lot so it was easier to plan how things would be laid out.

    I think Sarah got it. It's a Catalpa tree. I would've recognized fig leaves.

    I just posted a chayote shrimp stir-fry recipe.

    Oh yes! Thank you for identifying the tree. I love how my readers know everything!


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