Author Archives: JJD

First roses

The pink-and-white speckled roses have started to bloom. Seems earlier in the season than last year, and the other varieties are probably still about a month out from their first bloom cycle. But the bush looks healthy and the flowers are a nice colourful addition in the dreary Seattle spring weather.

Weekend in New York!

Back in (what turned out to be the final days of) the before-times when I lived in London and seeing plays was normal, I saw James McAvoy play Cyrano de Bergerac in a new adaptation of the of the play. It was excellent; one of the best pieces of theatre I’ve seen. So when a […]

It’s finally garden season in Seattle

As March, April, and May plod by under chilly clouds with temperatures steadfastly in the 45-55 range, spring in Seattle can feel like quite a slog. But then a sunny, mid-60s weekend arrives and all the joy of spring comes rushing out at once. That’s how this weekend has been–and oh, what good it does […]

Speaking of flowers… those lilies did not cooperate đź¤¨

After two full weeks —aka eternity—the lilies finally deigned to bloom. By then nearly all the berries had turned brown, the pussy willow buds had either dropped off or begun to sprout—and the lilies weren’t even white. Pink! Sigh. But it’s good lesson in the importance of getting the timing right in floristry. And of […]

The hand bouquet

The second task in my floristry class was to create a hand bouquet—meaning a bouquet constructed with stems held in hand, rather than inserted into a vase. The result was supposed to be compact, roughly symmetrical and appealing from all sides—something in the vein of a bridal bouquet. I chose to build mine with a […]

Home gym

Well, I’ve joined the Peloton bandwagon. This is what happens when you realise that two years of pandemic DoorDash orders have not been kind but still cannot even with the never-ending chilly grey Seattle weather that makes outdoor cardio such a drag. So the “gallery” hall that leads to the roof will double as home […]

Floristry! First task: the vase arrangement

Back in, hmm, maybe 2010 I spent a few days in Guatemala City with my friends Jennifer and Mark who were living there on assignment with USAID. I have a lot of good memories from that trip, but one that has had a surprisingly long lasting impact is of an enormous vase of stargazer lilies […]

Urban guerilla gardening

There’s an old, fire-damaged house down the street from me with an overgrown garden that, in happier days, must have been a pretty little garden. Every spring amidst the overgrown brambles and roses, I’ve admired a crop of unusual oxalis plants with pink flowers rather than the typical white. Well, today I saw that the […]

Progress at the little house

Quick overnight trip to Boise this weekend to check on the renovation project. The house has been gutted, reframed, and newly outfitted with HVAC and natural gas. It’s ready for drywall, floors, and the rest—and since the historic district approval came through on Friday, we’ll be able to get started in earnest on the next […]

Not the week to travel

I was supposed to start the new year off with a business trip to Washington DC. A series of meetings and onboarding a new team member. Last week when snow and record low temperatures shut down all travel out of Seattle I rescheduled my flight, pushing it out to today thinking the additional day would […]

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