Saturday, April 29, 2006

Garden preparation update

On Thursday, I measured out two new beds. I'm also widening the two beds from last year. On Friday evening, my DH rototilled the new beds. Today, I finished digging & widening the two existing beds before it started raining. (Here is a link to the garden in spring 2005.)Above, you can see the coffee bag pathways (taken on Thursday). (Link to more about coffee bags.) Each of the 4 beds are 4 feet wide with 2 feet pathways. They are about 22 feet long. The herb bed is also in this area, but not shown in the picture. The silver metal poles just happen to be 4 feet long so I was just using them for spacing.

Existing bed (above left picture, taken today)-with mystery flowers and irises on the end, in the middle are some rudbeckia and gaillardia I worked around. I covered part of the row after digging until I have a chance to mulch it. New beds are left of this bed.
The other existing bed (above, right) after widening and digging. I worked round the peas, broccoli, spinach, lettuce and parsley in this row. Thyme (golden, maybe) at the bottom of the picture.

Above, left picture is the herb row. At the bottom of the picture is the metal catnip guard/protector created by running over a tomato cage with the riding lawn mower. The above, right picture is another shot of the existing bed with peas, etc. Between these two beds is about 6 feet of grass. This summer I plan to remove the grass and extend the herb/perennial bed. Another fine crop of rocks!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Critter update

No Petunia in the garden or frog in the pond yet, but the robin has return to this nesting site on our garage.

Today, I hung up the geranium and fuchsia baskets that had been in the cold frame and transplanted outside or potted up the rest of the geranium and fuchsia starts along with a few of the marigolds. Moved the tomato plants I bought during my p-patch tour day to the cold frame. All of the other seedlings I still had in the house, including some from my neighbor, are now in the cold frame. I laid out the paths around two new beds and dug half of one existing bed. Pictures to post later.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Home again

I'm back from a quick trip to Dallas - I think I missed the best gardening weather so far, here at home though. Spent part of the plane ride drawing out the garden expansion, but we'll see if it actually comes together in the garden like it does on paper.

Hey, Miss P - the dvd arrived! Loved touring your garden this way. Click on the "e-mail me" link to the right and send me a note so I can have your current e-mail address. Please give dear neighbors F&A a hug for me!

Friday, April 21, 2006

What's blooming

These bleeding hearts are in our yard and will be blooming for a while. The wild version is pink in color and they're also in bloom now along the trails through wooded areas.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Cold frame update

Here is what's in the cold frame now. The seedlings are marigolds and lavender that were in starter trays in the house and have been transplanted into larger pots until time to go in the garden. The geranium starts will go into various containers outside soon and then some other seedlings will take their place. The cold frame doesn't hold in a lot of heat, but protects the plants from the wind and frosts. It is in the sun most of the day.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Still frosty

It was quite frosty this morning, so the little cold frame is at least keeping the frost off of the geranium starts and other seedlings I've moved out there (cat kept chewing on the seedlings in the house). Note to self: after venting the cold frame, take off garden shoes before going to work!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Excursions: P-Patch 2

This is the second p-patch I visited last weekend (here is the link to p-patch 1). It was quite cold & wet so not the best planned photos. This is a newer p-patch and offers a lot to the surrounding community. A park on one side with beautiful native shrubs & trees, a ball court & play area on the other side. Demonstration gardens and a covered place for groups to meet. The windmill keeps water moving though a water feature. Oh yes - garden plots too.

Above, a well grown greens plot that was being picked. I wonder if it had been under a covering earlier. Other plots on all sides of it. Taken from about the same place as the first picture, just turned the other way. You can see tools as volunteers were there tending the shared spaces that day.
This photo is to show my friend J, the new plot owner, stone paths in a plot.
Green coffee bags for mulch / weed barrier until time to plant the bed!

Hmmm... not hard to find in Seattle! Here is my car yesterday. (Now if it will just stop raining long enough to work on the expansion area. Suspect there are more than I can use here too.)

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Who planted the rocks?

My dear husband did a little more rototilling this evening in the garden expansion area. I did some digging when I got home and discovered way more big rocks in the area than I'd like to see. The clay soil wasn't too far below the surface either. This area may need at least a year's worth of composting (& rock removal) before proceeding. Here are some other photos, however. These are the chickens in my garden! The chicks and the sedum on the left are from starts brought back from my Kansas family. That's catmint in the upper right. Radish seedlings making their appearance, along with surfacing rocks. Years ago, a friend gave the seeds to us. They were in a long strip of tissue to make them easy to plant. I've thinned them some since this picture.
Snap peas coming up between the parsley and volunteer borage. Oh yes, there are some little rocks growing from pieces left last year. When we first dug this area last year, the soil was good and the rocks weren't as thick as the new area. And the top row of basil is from my seed friend also! Gift seeds must grow better than others. I didn't expect ALL of them to sprout. The lower row is another type of basil.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

With Flying Buttresses!

Remember the windows? When I went out to the barn on Sunday to explore cold frame options, I also remembered we had a shower pan from the prior house bath redo. I had thought it might make a nice base for something and had stashed it behind the barn when we moved. Look how it fits the windows! Here you see the geranium starts giving it a trial run.

The side windows are just sitting on uneven stones and not yet attached. That's where the flying buttresses came in handy! My plan is to add handles to the top of the side windows and some sort of adjustable attachment between the handle and the top of the a-frame. Then the base of the side windows can be bumped out for ventilation, or the top can be leaned out. Note the scientifically calculated ventilation built into the roof line (ha ha). Some leveling of the side stones and overall polishing up to do still.

After exploring many types of hardware at the hardware store, all it took were these handy hinges and lots and lots of experimenting before settling on this simple design. Note, the prices shown were even before the discount (at Earthwise Salvage)!

This morning, there was frost on the north side and the inside was a little above freezing. The plants seem to take it ok, though. We threw a covering over the top tonight and will see what that does to the inside temperature.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Critter update

No frogs in the pond or Petunia in the garden, but a hummingbird was buzzing around the cherry trees this evening (and so were the huge bumblebees). Since I still cannot find my notebook, I'm not sure when I heard the first one last year.

Excursions: P-Patch 1

On Saturday, I visited my friend and her new p-patch plot (community garden) in Seattle for 'opening day' of gardening season. Many new patchers were being introduced to the ways of a p-patch. Always looking for ideas (and as it was too rainy to play in my garden), I visited two other p-patches to be shared later.

This is a small p-patch surrounded by houses and a school. Many people know each other and were quick to introduce themselves to anyone they didn't
recognize. My friend's plot has the purple pansies left by the prior gardener. It is around 10 feet x 15 feet.

The tool shed shown is shared by the gardeners. You can see some of the larger plots here. The one in front of the shed is around 30 feet by 10 feet, with a narrow path in the middle. In the last picture shown, the upright growth along the stepping stone path is raspberries. On the other side of the stone path are stakes for the wonderful dahlias that will grow there. Happy Gardening, J!

Friday, April 07, 2006

What is it?

I wanted a mystery garden, I may get it. One row of mystery seeds has germinated. The seedlings are small, at first I thought it was moss developing! The seeds were tiny and may have been in a hard seed pod. Maybe some type of poppy? I must have collected them from someone's garden years ago. Any ideas?

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Cherry tree update

Here is an update to the first blossoms seen March 29.

I tried this photo with the sun shining on them, but liked this back-lit one. Just cannot quite capture the real look. The bushes below the trees are rhododendrons.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Remember Petunia?

No sign of Petunia yet, but just like everywhere else in the area, her property has been subdivided! Her grand estate board last year has been replaced by two circular condos and a square cabin (probably each a little large than 12 inches across). Much easier to check under and garden around, but will she find them acceptable? Perhaps with a little paint and her name in gold letters...

Now I'm waiting for frogs in the pond and Petunia in the garden. At least about 20 snap peas are poking above the soil (planted Mar 19), as well as some radish seeds given to us years ago.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Basil is growing, cold frame needed

The seedlings are growing. The cosmos, bachelors buttons, marigolds & lavender are getting taller, but still only seedling leaves. I love these little basils! The first row comes from seeds 14 years old. The third row is just starting to show bits of green that are Red Holy Basil. The second row was old Spicy Globe Basil seeds but nothing is showing yet. No sprouts from the mystery seeds yet.

Now I need to get serious about making a cold frame / mini greenhouse out of this window collection. There are 6 the same size. The 2 small ones are missing some glass. I'll be checking out blogs for pictures, but feel free to send me any creative ideas!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

No Fooling!

Reasons why a pumpkinman is better than a snowman...
* no snow required * won't melt when you hug him * reseeds himself for next year * discourages solicitors * washes clean in the rain * fun to watch grow * changes outfits with the seasons * goes well with whipped cream...

Yes, this was our 2005 Christmas greetings. Now you've seen it all and the last of the big pumpkin (with his sheep wool beard). We roasted the giant seeds in January (but the rest of him was getting squishy).