a Thomas Keller garden

I have talked a few times about how much we like Thomas Keller’s restaurants.

One aspect I really love about Keller’s California properties are their gorgeous showcase gardens. Walking through them is an event in itself, seeing where the menu’s food comes from and appreciating Keller’s passion for sustainability.

The French Laundry Garden is the most famous, located across the street from the restaurant. TFL garden is three acres, and supplies Keller’s three restaurants in the area with just-picked produce. Some of the ingredients in our Ad Hoc dinner were in TFL garden that morning.

Much smaller but equally beautiful, the Ad Hoc Garden sits directly behind the restaurant. After our dinner we enjoyed a warm early evening garden walk.

We walked through rows of vegetables.

Beautiful lettuces!

“Bright Lights” swiss chard – Beta Vulgaris.


An abundance of mint.

Grapes on the vine…

Beautiful, fresh and green!

Among the veggies we found things vibrant and bright:

The first roses Jason ever gave me were yellow

Later there were red ones


and purples

all vibrant and bright.

Walking out of the garden, I spotted one of my favorite trees:

Sustainable meets function meets artistic beauty. A visual feast equal to the delectable feast inside…

springtime blooms

One thing people ask for more of on spabettie? More photos of my gardens! I love taking these photos, so I’m happy many of you are liking them. I seem to post these mainly on Sundays, so here we are again with another

Sunday Walk In My Garden.

Doesn’t that look like a long spindly-legged spider at the base?

I love these…

This puffy grass (moss?) reminds me of Hawaii Grandpa’s back yard…  know what it’s called? Dad? Mom? Anyone?

So Vibrant…

These smell so good

These will be blueberries soon:

I can’t wait – we look forward to the blueberries every year!


Sunny yellows

and more pink!

Faces in the Flowers? 😀

Purple Pretties.

These just make me smile.

I love Purple and Yellow together.

Happy Sunday everyone!

morning garden walk

Three things:

I want Pippa’s dress.

I want the name Pippa!

I want to drive a wine-powered Aston Martin.

After our all-nighter, Basil and I took a (pre-nap!) walk around the gardens today.

Cool and dewy…

the sun did peek out while we were out there.

new trees.

soft leaves.

when you live by the golf club…

ivy by the river.

better view of the river:

Basil Dachshund…

Happy Friday!

Amorphophallus rivieri – Voodoo Lily

Devil’s Tongue, Snake Plant, Konjac, or perhaps my favorite, Konnyaku Potato.

Last season, we only had a few of these, I think three. My first experience with these crazy plants, I loved their prehistoric look.

Doesn’t this make you think of Little Shop of Horrors:

This reminds me of the caterpillar from Alice in Wonderland:

Crazy looking plants, beautiful in blooms but they smell awful!

The above photos were taken in June 2010.

This is what was left in September:

I was weeding near that area of the yard today, and walked over there to see what’s going on with my Voodoos.

Is it possible that red orange yellow green pod is… seeds? Look what we have this year:

Look at all those stalks!

I swear this forest was not here last year! If it was I didn’t see it. Many of these look small, like they are new, so I’m not ruling it out.

Our neighbor up the street is a master gardener – I cannot wait to ask her about this!

Question to my gardener friends out there – are these plants known to multiply quickly like this? What else can you tell me about them?

warmest day of the year

Saturday was Portland’s warmest of the year thus far, and it was beautiful! Aside from about two hours at Living Room Theater, we were outside all day long.

We saw Water for Elephants, and since I have read the book at least three times, I feel I can say the movie was executed perfectly! It is a wonderfully moving story on a few levels, and I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. Also? I want Marlena’s wardrobe! 😀

Going to the movies at 11:am left the rest of the day to play outdoors! Jason mowed the yards and I played in the garden. We grilled in the evening, which was nice and light until after 8pm. It was a perfect day, and I am hoping for more like it soon…

Grilled corn is my favorite:

More new blooms in the garden:





blooms on our blueberry bushes!

and a little friend:

Are you planning to see Water for Elephants? Have you read the book?

Happy Easter!

end of summer blooms

We spent Saturday morning running errands, followed by lunch at one of our favorites. Before we left, Basil and I took a walk with my camera. It seems every week or so the flowers in our yard are changing.

Remember earlier this summer, we had a tropical looking plant in our yard? Our Little Shop of Horrors plant?

This is what it looks like now:

Happy Holiday Weekend…

One Year Ago Today

I remember checking my schedule remotely from home. I had no meetings / appointments of my own, and the spa was slow. There were no classes or events scheduled in my meeting rooms. Having the ability to work remotely via computer, I called in and said I was doing so.

About 4:pm, I was glad I did:

We were having a wind storm. It BROKE A TREE in our yard. That tree? Landed on the power lines and started to smoke.

I watched it for a while. When I saw FLAMES, I called in the Big Guns.

Portland’s Finest. Hello, boys. Can you fix this for me?

They christened our street with this:

and continued to watch THIS:

There were five fires in the tree at one point. The fire trucks stayed a while. They eventually came to my door and said it was not safe for them to do anything until the electric company turned off the power. The electric company was seriously busy, dealing with emergencies all over Portland, the wind storm aftermath. (Tree actively burning? Non emergency?) Okay. I was FLIPPIN. They instructed me to call 911 if “the situation suddenly takes a turn.” Fire in a tree? Wind?

You know? It actually didn’t take a turn. There was a police officer sitting in their car, there to watch our property. It made me feel better. At one point, the fire was HUGE. I think the officer called fire department back in…

I could not sleep. Finally, at 2:AM, the electric company turned up, to turn off the power.

The fire department stopped the fire, and within a few days time, the tree was cut back. As much as it could be. We have a river going through our property, that is part of the Fanno Creek system. The Friends of Fanno Creek keep property owners from doing much in the way of change or development, which is good, generally. In this case? It means a tree cannot be fully removed.

ah… well.