Monday, May 29, 2006

Green is a lovely color

So it's going to rain every day of this holiday weekend (11 days w/ some rain now). Frog is happy, though. He is sitting in the little pond near our house and he's going to sing all day if it stays overcast.

Rain slows down garden bed preparation, but not geocaching. Yesterday we did another excursion to put back in action the travel bugs DH picked up on his trip east. This one was in a park with trails through the woods. It was hidden on the other side of this "furry" tree. Oh, so many shades of green!
The color caught my eye & I had to investigate. Bet the hummingbirds enjoy these. Lonicera ciliosa - orange honeysuckle.
Yes, an injury. I slipped (probably on a slug). What's this - green blood now?

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Geocaching (i.e. Garden Tours by GPS)

My dear husband (DH) decided one new hobby (blogging) deserves another. He has discovered Geocaching. The garden wouldn't get attention in the rain today, so we agreed to spend some time in our respective offices as long as we'd leave in time to hunt for a few geocaches in the Seattle area. Here, he is heading toward his first find in early April. (Note, trampling sensitive areas is discouraged and he isn't going far off the trail here.)

Read more in the link above, but basically you use a Global Positioning System (GPS) unit to find a hidden cache based on its coordinates (gets close but not all the way). There are also these tags called Travel Bugs cachers attach to odd little items and these travel bugs are tracked on the web site. Those are the things the DH likes to pick up and drop off. Having just returned from a trip back east, he'd picked up a few to introduce to local caches.

The great things is these caches are often in places we've never been. And they often along trails, in parks or other outside public places (there are a lot of these places in this area). My DH now gets his bike out regularly to to check a cache he has placed along a trail near our house. We went to one in the Leschi Park area in Seattle today. Not knowing quite where the cache is leads to a bit of hiking around and, today, many stairs.

So not only does this pull in a little exercise, it actually involves about 75% garden touring! (Shhh! Don't tell DH.) We've found little hidden away places often with a lot of natural vegetation, gardens or in interesting neighborhoods. The Leschi Park and surrounding neighborhood were fun to see today (but no camera along). The plants are a little a head of those at our house as the city temps seem to be a little higher even though only 20 miles away.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Broccoli tonight?

So how do I know when the broccoli is ready to harvest? I do hope to harvest the main head and let the smaller side shoots keep growing. Does this one look ready now?
This is called Packman broccoli. I purchased a 6 pack of small plants and planted them on March 28. Took a while for them to do much, but then they seemed to grow quickly.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Rainy day salad

Tomatoes either needed potted or put in the ground, so they're now in the ground. Wrapped the bottom of the cages with plastic to block the cool wind. It does feel warmer inside (2 more in a bed not shown). May not be ideal for them, but easier for me!

Above left is 1 of the 4 vegetable beds (each about 22 ft x 4 ft), broccoli, spinach, lettuce, peas, radishes, tomatoes, flowers & herbs and still some open spots. I'll plant more lettuce and fill in where I widened the bed. There is a large volunteer foxglove in the middle. The picture on the right above is the herb bed. The chives moved with me from AL many chive generations ago! (Links to earlier views of these beds & the widening project this year and last June.)

No Petunia sightings anywhere yet. You can see I've been using her "condo" as a stepping board (above left) - but I do check underneath it first!

The broccoli and spinach grew a LOT during some nice weather these past two weeks. I haven't had it grow like this before (in a prior & more shaded garden). I thought I was smart planting the lettuce in the large spaces between but now it is a little too sheltered! It's cute all tucked in though and seems happy enough. I tried to prepare the 2 beds that will host the beans today, but only got about 3/4 of one bed before the rain started. Harvested an assortment in between rains and now I'm off to have a salad dinner & probably lunch tomorrow.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

He's back!

Frog is singing up a storm tonight in our little pond. He's sitting on this frog pond float we have in it - who knew it would be good for the wildlife! In March, we started hearing frogs singing nearby (here is the post). He must be related to the frog we had last year because he was a late arriver also.

Any advice?

Do you think this structure will work for pole beans & runner beans? The former owners left these movable fence sections with wire fencing attached. They are 4 feet wide, one is 7 feet long and one is about 10 feet. In this picture, they are just propped up (fell on me once already) and I'd secure them for use. That would be a path under them. Each side is in a new bed so I may be dreaming that the beans will get this tall.

These volunteers are either zucchini or pumpkins. Can anyone confirm which?

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Summer arrived (for now)

I'm home again - but think I'm about a month behind in the garden due to one beautiful week! It will probably turn cold again, but I still need to get the beans, pumpkins and sunflowers growing. This is one of the radishes planted March 28, from some seeds given to us in 1998! Transplanted more flowers from the cold frame tonight and finally potted the cute little basil seedlings that had still been hanging out in the house.

Hey - there is a frog in our little pond! Well, no need to clean it out now... might disturb little ones.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Transplant time

The first tomato plant is now in the ground, leaving its buddies still in the cold frame. I had a place ready for it and it is supposed to be one that doesn't mind cooler weather. I did wrap clear(ish) plastic around the lower half of the tomato cage in order to block some of the wind. The broccoli and spinach (we've eaten a little too) is really growing and there will be some lettuce for salads soon.

Also transplanted some of the marigolds, cosmos and bachelor's buttons from the cold frame into the garden and seedlings from a neighbor into shade borders. Planted oriental poppies and echinacea at the end of the 2 new beds in the garden. Still lots of rocks to work out. I'm sure it will be time to plant these rows before I have the rocks out. Elsewhere in the yard, the rhododendrons & azaleas are blooming now. Rhodies have fewer flowers this year, but the azalea is just covered.

I'll be away this coming week. Thought I might have some posts ready to go in advance, but it won't happen before my early flight tomorrow! Happy Gardening!