Friday, March 31, 2006

The Kitties


Here are the kitties that keep us company...
Emily when she isn't in the garden.

Maria storing energy for chasing Nikko.

Nikko with her "did you say treats?" look. (we recently learned that "beets" get the same look)

Thursday, March 30, 2006

The first year-part 3

To keep this as part of the March collection, here are pictures from Sept-Oct 2005, in the garden's first year. Petunia still visited now and then, but I think she spent more time on vacation in the tall grass nearby. Now we also had tomatoes, peas, zucchini and Romano beans along with the lettuce & herbs. We really enjoyed watching the pumpkins & sunflowers grow. See the handy shelf my DH added to the fence?
There are pumpkins peeking out above. Below, I could do a whole blog of sunflower pictures. I even like the well eaten one below (late Oct).
This was the largest of the 4 pumpkins at 88 pounds. We have no idea how this happened. Watch for more appearances by him.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

What's blooming

We are fortunate that our house came with three large ornamental cherry trees. After a rainy start yesterday, the sun came out and the flowers really started opening. For weeks, they'll are a joy to see from the kitchen & dining room or from the outside. At least it will look like spring every day while they're blooming.

Basil seedlings have joined the marigolds & cosmos in the starter tray. What will I do with all these sun lovers when they need to be removed from the tray (assuming they live that long)? Suppose I should have thought about their timelines a little better, but one never knows...

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Starting seeds

I haven't started seeds like this for years, but I went through my seed collection and picked out some to try. (You can see Emily here ready to come inside.) I had the long tray already, but this is the first time to try the jiffy pellets. I'll be trying the newspaper pots soon too.
These were planted Mar 25. Today, both trays have a few seedlings up (you have to look closely). These in the little tray are Mr. Majestic marigolds. A few cosmos are up in the other tray. Some I planted were collected from things I grew years ago, some are just old. I also have 3 rows of mystery seeds in the long tray! I like to garden by chance and see what happens...

Monday, March 27, 2006

Frog update

Frog hasn't been heard in the pond yet. Last night we did hear a lonely guy away from the crowd. He was singing from the blackberry bramble and small rain water ditch. I don't know if it will keep water in it long enough for tadpoles or not. Hope he knows what he's doing!

Treasure

The picture in this post might be too much, but here goes. A sunny day can lead to crazy behavior. I decided I needed to rake up some of that sheep doo for the compost. Here are the ever helpful sheep, too. As they are in a large grassy area, it doesn't really accumulate so it didn't take long to get what I could. I was surpised to find something white mixed in! Maybe sheep can produce pearls too? It was a funny discovery at the moment, sun silliness, I guess. I doubt one found it (a marble) ate it and passed it on, but I have no idea where it came from. They do try to eat anything. Have I gone too far posting this picture?

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Plants 2006 herbs & other

This is where I'll keep my plant list. I cannot find the notebook where I wrote plants & dates last year. This should be better ... as I doubt I'll loose the computer! Note: Vegetables & annual flowers are in the other list.
Herbs

  1. Basil, 1991 seeds! - Mar 25 planted in starter trays, some sprouted Mar 30, Apr 3 lots of sprouts; May 16 into pots
  2. Basil, Holy Red - Mar 25 in starter trays, Apr 3 many sprouts; May 16 into pots
  3. Borage-Self-seeded from last year & growing, love the flowers & the bees; May 14 flowering
  4. Catnip-planted 2005, new growth is up but the cats have found it already
  5. Chives-nice growth of leaves, these moved with me from AL 14 yrs ago; May 16 some flowers opening
  6. Lavender, Munstead - Mar 25 planted in starter trays. Mar 30 some sprouted. Had good luck sprouting last year. Gave many away and lost several to summer heat before getting them in the ground. Trying again.
  7. Lavender, Spanish-some damage from a recent frost, but more new growth developing
  8. Lemon Balm-new growth showing & fragrant, this moved with me in 2004
  9. Mint-new growth barely showing, moved with me in 2004 & is planted in a container in the ground to discourage wandering.
  10. Oregano-new growth showing
  11. Parsley, curly leaf-planted 2005, new growth is beautiful & tasty
  12. Rosemary
  13. Sage-planted 2005
  14. Thyme-all sorts, some moved with me in 2004, some new in 2005.

Trees/shrubs/etc. - to add more to the list later
Ornamental cherry trees -Mar 26 first few flowers open, Apr 10 full bloom, some petals falling
Star Magnolia - Mar 26 blooming
Pear trees - Apr 3 two are blooming
Rainier cherry tree - Apr 10 blooming

Plants 2006 - veggies & flowers

This is where I'll keep the plant list for vegetables & flowers and update throughout the year.

Vegetables

  1. Arugula - purchased Apr 8 @ p-patch, planted Apr 29, Jun 4 now bolting/flowering, Aug 12 sprouting from self sowing -I just don't seem to use it. Sometimes hard to tell it apart from some of the weeds that come up.
  2. Beans Bush, Yellow Romano - Aug 10 first meal, good, tender
  3. Beans Pole, Helda - end of July top of structure, Aug 10 first meal; Oct. vines are dieing back.
  4. Beans Pole, Scarlet Emperor, end of July top of structure, hummingbird loved them too. Pick young, pick young, pick young, Oct. vines look good still. Lots of large beans I gave up picking
  5. Broccoli, Packman - Mar 28 purchased & planted. Growing! May 16 huge leaves, heads starting to form, Jun 4 have eaten 5 of 6 main stalks & letting side shoots grow.
  6. Broccoli, blend of varieties-seeds, sowed, Aug 12-young heads, main heads eaten some time ago, Oct. eating side shoots
  7. Carrot, Gold Mine-free seeds & from DH parents, Aug 12-ate 2, Oct. 1, Oct 7 had a nice ones
  8. Gourd, Birdhouse-from DH parents, rototilled spot Jun 3, Aug 10-climbing fence, Oct 7-found one on the gound this morning, probably knocked off by the squirrel. Many are still quite small.
  9. Lettuce mixture-some growth remaining from last fall, sowed more Apr 2, sowed more in late May, Aug 11-still eating
  10. Lettuce, London Springs Mix-Apr 2 sowed in garden, varieties with red leaves, Apr 29 growing, nice mix. Aug 10-sowed more, eating Sept-Oct. Flashy Trout's Back is a favorite. Love the colors in this mix too.
  11. Parsnips, Harris Model - Need to add parsnips according to Clodhopper, Apr 1 purchased seeds. Sprouted. Oct. little white roots, finally with some light now that the zucc. & beans are trimmed back.
  12. Peas Snap, Cascadia - Mar 19 sowed in garden, Mar 25 something sprout but may not be a pea; Apr 1- 3 sprouts; Apr 3- 21 sprouts, Jun 2 noticed first flowers, Aug 10-about done
  13. Peas Snow, Oregon Sugar Pod II-Aug 10 sowed, Oct. 7 climbing
  14. Pumpkin, Dill's Atlantic- rototilled space June 3, Aug 10 flowering, Oct. 7 havest 1
  15. Pumpkin, Snackjack-Aug 10-lots of green pumpkins, harvested Oct. 1
  16. Pumpkin, Wyatt's Wonder-Aug 10 flowering, Oct. 7 harvest 1
  17. Radish - seeds remaining from 1998 gift, planted Mar 28, many sprouts Apr 8, thin to 1-2 inches apart, Apr 29 cute baby radishes, May 14 1st harvest, Jun 1 finished
  18. Rhubarb - May 29 starts from M & R, planted
  19. Spinach, Catalina - Mar 28 purchased & planted. Ate some Apr 30; May 16 they've grown a lot, Jun 4 have eaten a lot but now they are huge, new leaves very krinkly for some reason
  20. Spinach - Aug 10-sowed, Oct. 1 transplanted crowded plants.
  21. Squash-volunteer from last year ornamentals - lots on the bush, all harvested late Sept.
  22. Tomato, Oregon Spring-Purchased Apr 8 @Picardo p-patch, very early, adapted for NW, Apr 29 -in the cold frame, one with blossoms, May 20 in the ground w protection. Sunflowers grew around it so it didn't get much sun. Only a few tomatoes
  23. Tomato, Stupice - Apr 8, very early, cold-tolerant; May 6 in the ground with wind protection-late July first meal. Some splitting after Sept rains.
  24. Tomato, Sungold - Apr 8 yellow-orange cherry tomato, May 20 in the ground, late July-first meal - this is my favorite!
  25. Tomato, Sweet Baby Girl - Apr 8 should resist splitting , May 20 in the ground, late july-first meal. After Sept rains, some splitting. Ok, not as sweet as sweet million
  26. Zucchini, Revenue seeds from 2005 - May 28 planted 8 seeds to thin to 4 plants much further apart than last year, June 4 four have sprouted, in July started eating.

Flowers

  1. Alyssum, Carpet of Snow-Apr 1 seeds, Aug 11-trimmed & hope for more flowers, Oct. it's been flowering again
  2. Bachelors Buttons Mix (seeds from 1999)-Mar 25 in starter tray, some sprouted Mar 30, most sprouted by Apr 1. May 6 transplated to garden, blue, lavender, pink, Sept-collected seeds
  3. Coreopsis, tinctoria Mixture-Apr 1 seeds, Don't think these grew.
  4. Cosmos, Sonata Mix-Mar 25 in starter trays, some seedlings Mar 28, most sprouted by Apr. 1, May 6 transplanted to garden. 2006-the year of the cosmos!
  5. Echinacea Mix - sp 24", in ground May 6 - Nice!
  6. Fuchsia-Apr 1 purchased starts 2 for $1 & potted hanging basket; most did great. Patio hanger dried out too often.
  7. Geraniums-Apr 1 purchased starts 2 for $1, potted and outside Apr 29
  8. Geraniums, Ivy-Apr 1 purchased starts 2 for $1, & potted hanging baskets.
  9. Marigolds, Mr. Majestic- Mar 25 planted in starter trays, some seedlings Mar 28, most sprouted by Apr 1, Apr 8 small true leaves some roots showing need potted.; May 6 transplated to garden. Really liked the orange marigolds so I saved seeds.
  10. Mystery flowers - Mar 25 in starter trays, Apr 8 many small seedlings
  11. Oriental Poppy - Papaver orientale 'Karine' pink flowers, May 6 in ground, Jun 4 has flower buds, Aug 11-has flowered & still has a bud, early Oct - still flowering!
  12. Rudbeckia Hirta, Black-Eyed Susan perennial, Aug-flowering-great this year
  13. Sunflower, Italian White-free seeds - These are beautiful!
  14. Sunflower, Sunseed - great again this year, birds enjoy
  15. Sunflower, red - self seeded from last year, birds love these
  16. Sunflowers mixed 10 years worth of assorted seeds - fun!

New rain barrels!

Suitable for a rainy day posting, here are our new additions. Dear Husband picked them up yesterday from a city sponsored sale. Oh, so exciting! They hold 90 gallons each and, this is great... have a low faucet that can be connected to a hose and a higher one to fill a bucket!! Who knew?!

We also have these that we inherited with the barn. They are the dipping type...open the lid and dip in a water can. Not bad until they get low.

Faucets are a wonderful invention. (Yes, some day we'll put them in the old ones also.) Not sure where the new ones will go yet, but they'll have a downspout of their own soon.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

The frogs are singing

Sounds of Spring - The Pacific Tree Frog
These little guys are now singing up a storm near any body of water, usually with hundreds of their friends. They are loud, but I like to hear them. Last year, one lonely guy set up shop in late spring in the little garden pond we inherited with our house and sang his heart out. Sure enough, one day I'm out there scooping out the excess moss and leaves and I notice the wiggling little tadpoles! That got me out of pond duty for a while. Later, I did see one of the young frogs in the pond.

So now I wait... Will any of the frogs return to their pond this year?

Friday, March 24, 2006

The BARN

Putter: to busy oneself without needing to get much done. This is the "puttering barn." The 'garden shed' is the back part of the barn. The outside stall on the left side of the picture (sort of blocked off from the sheep in this picture) is the outside potting area. Just inside from the potting area is the rest of the garden shed. We're still debating the use of the area inside the big doors! The mailbox on the fence just holds misc. garden supplies.










The inside 'garden shed' has been shared with the sheep supplies for the winter. A white board? It came from a local surplus store and seemed handy for garden planning. It holds sheep care notes right now! To the right of the hanging tools is the door back to the outside potting area.

Every garden shed needs original artwork for inspiration (painter unknown)! Now you've visited "the barn."

Saturday, March 18, 2006

The first year - part 2

Here is more catch-up on the garden's progress in its first year. We were eating leaf lettuce and herb salads at this point in early June 2005.
Emily adopted us in June 2005. She keeps us company in the garden and guards the catnip. If only she'd go after the mole(s)!
The pumpkins and zucchini are starting to spread out below. We added peas to our salads and enjoyed watching the bees attack the borage flowers.
Below, you can see the sunflowers growing above the pumpkins. Still no tomatoes, but we had zucchini for the salads.
The first baby pumpkin - July 31, 2005!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Mulch of choice

We are hosting two sheep for a Future Farmers of America student. She visits each day to care for them. These pictures were after their "spa day" last summer (a bath, before a field trip they were going on). Needless to say, used sheep straw has been our mulch of choice for the garden so far!


Below is a current picture - March 2006. These girls just wouldn't pose for the picture, but you get the idea of their current size and wool coat. I guess eating grass is the normal pose for them!

Besides eating grass, they also enjoy knocking off any rock or other item placed on this bench. All of these items will be knocked off in a day or two.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

What's blooming today

While I'm not finished catching up with the garden development, here is an update from today. Even though it snowed two days ago, today was beautiful and the camellia shrubs decided to start blooming. Many bees were visiting the heather and they should soon have more flowers to choose from.

The first year-part 1

After moving to our current location in 2004, this is how the garden space started developing in 2005. It's located in a former alpaca pasture, shown here on a frosty January morning.

In early May, we had these three rows and Petuntia had taken up residence under the 'weed blocking' board in the third row (with an occasional visit from Herbert). By this time, the first row had been planted with herbs and other plants we had brought from our prior house and had temporarily stuck in a rough flower bed after the move.

In the row on the left below... I almost regret giving the zucchini seeds the extra benefit of the old skylight. I thinned them several times and still had too many! Later, the pumpkins and sunflowers will be in this row also. The row on the right has tomatoes, mixed with other things, and lettuce and peas on the far end. You know all that grass around the beds cannot be a good thing! That will be our 2006 project.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Welcome to Petunia's Garden

On a cold day in March, this picture is a good reminder that there are warm, sunny days ahead and Petunia will soon be back in the garden! Our purpose with this space is to share a view of our world with those who are far away, delay doing any of those other things on the 'to-do' list and to have a little fun. Petunia's gardener can use any tips you have to share also!