Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Onion Surprises

Last spring, I had some sprouting onion starts not yet in the ground. I tucked them in among the small tomatoes and forgot about them as the tomatoes took over. During the tomato row clean up this fall, I displaces some of the onion bulbs and just thought I'd try again another year.

Now I see onions sprouting throughout the garden (I forgot some of the places I stashed them)! I'll see how they do over the winter rather than my too late planting in the spring. They don't seem mind the frosty nights at all.

Monday, November 26, 2007

November Garden

November, in Petunia's Garden. I've left any flower and herb seed heads standing for now. I think the birds will eat some of the coneflower and black eyed susan seeds. The green and yellow blur about in the middle of the photo above is a remaining broccoli in bloom. I left it standing as the bees enjoyed it, but I think they are long gone for the winter now. Not sure if it is getting other visitors or not. You can also see blooming broccoli in this July post.
Dear Husband mowed up the fallen leaves with the grass catcher on the mower. Then he dumped the chopped up leaves in the wire cages he improvised, at the top of the picture. Once I had the beds ready for them, I spread the leaves throughout the 6 garden beds & the herb area.

Those Brussels sprouts seem to be on hold right now. The plants look good enough, but the sprouts are still quite small.

Click on the label "Garden-Monthly Photos" to see other months.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Squash of Many Lives

This small ornamental squash/pumpkin grew in the garden in 2006 (see a sibling here), from one I composted in the garden in 2005. He decorated the porch in 2007, but started getting squishy so I sat him out in the garden for composting. Well, there he sat Thanksgiving morning, just sparkling with frost. I couldn't capture the sparkles, but you can see his frosty glow in the morning light.

I did plant seeds from another one left over from last year. ... planted them next to the zucchini. I think they must have crossed with the zucchini or the delicata squash, because the fruit ended up long, not pumpkin shaped at all. It also got a late start so the frost finished it up before it made it past the green stage. Don't you just love surprises in the garden?

I've never found that this this an eating variety. The only time I ever see this type is in stores in the fall labeled "ornamental."

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Welcome Matron!

So here is the exciting garden blogger event I mentioned on Sunday. Matron and her US friend visited Petunia's Garden! Oh, how fun it was to meet them, talk gardening, kick around the soil, and see that glint in another's eye when surveying decomposing leaf mulch.

A little surreal to meet a fellow garden blogger in person, but what a great common background we all have in gardening. And, she gave me a copy of Grow Your Own magazine. It is new to me and just full of veggie & fruit guidance. I will have some of these tips on my 2008 planning list, soon to be posted.
Here is my view across the pumpkin. Visit Matron, at Down on the Allotment, for her view!

I told Matron this pumpkin was soon to be in the oven. Finally, last night, I cooked it... half of it that is, since that filled the two large baking dishes I had. It weighed about 18 pounds. The cooked half filled a 7 cup storage container. Tonight I'll cook the other half, make a pie and freeze the rest of it for later.

Thanks, Matron, for fitting this visit in your busy schedule and for the wonderful magazine. Enjoy the seeds, and tell me when you are getting them started. We can keep a running comparison next year to see how they grow.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Hawthorn Berries

Along with the rosehips, these hawthorn berries are decorating the hillside now. I just realized this little tree has something to offer across the seasons.
See these links:
Summer shade
Autumn leaves
Berries and snow

I hope the birds enjoy the berries too.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

This Just In...

Not bad for November 18th. Surely there are some stay-healthy vitamins in there. New crops of parsley are popping up throughout the garden, too. Some of this lettuce and chard came from the covered wagon cloche, some from out in the open.

I think it is Red Sails leaf lettuce that has been a star this summer and now. It doesn't get the bitter flavor some do. In the green, is Valmaine, I think. I've mixed together assorted seed mixes so it is a little of a guessing game. I think I'll try specific varieties next year. There are some beets in there too.

It has been an exciting garden blogger day, today! Stay tuned and you'll find out why.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Year 'Round Rose

This wild rose growns on our hillside (remember visiting our hillside retreat?). It is my kind of rose. Pretty pink blossoms, long arching canes and these lovely rosehips in the winter. It is also the home of Petunia's cousin. We have a path through this hillside pasture that goes by this rose bush. Often, a sunning garter snake would dart back in the brambles just as we walked by. DH doesn't like this, so I have to take the lead on this part of the path.

Here, I found the photos from this past May:

Wow! Look at all of that green too!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

What's Blooming?

Just outside my back door is this beauty. Chocolate Lenzites, I think. It is growing in a split in the landscape timber holding the walkway stones in place. At other times, I've noticed some sort of growth here, but haven't noticed it looking so interesting before. It must be its favorite time of the year (wet, but not too cold).

See other NW beauties here: Blooming Lichen, Small Spaces I and Small Spaces II.

To see some real blooms around the world, visit Carol and her May Dreams Gardens Bloom Day post. See the comments to the post for all the other bloggers with blooms to share.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Baby Sprouts

Some of the sprouts are leaning to the west (to catch those last rays of sun, I guess). As I propped one up during my quick garden inspection today, I noticed the baby sprouts! (Ok, look closely.) Good thing, too, as I just found a Brussels sprout recipe I'd like to try. How much longer to harvest?

Monday, November 12, 2007

Hello World

Yes, I've been away on an unexpected trip. Off the internet grid, too. I'm in the airport now, heading home so see you all soon.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Autumn Leaf Harvest

We've had many nice webs in the tall grass (/weeds) we've let grow all summer, but this web on the fence was they only one I managed to capture this year.

Saturday, DH did the second round of mowing up leaves around the yard. Normally, he doesn't use the catcher on the mower, but he does for the leaves. Then he has been dumping them in a temporary compost spot. Gradually, I'm putting them on the garden beds. It is amazing how quickly the collection has started to compost. You can feel the heat coming off of it.

Some trees have lost all leaves now, but others haven't. Maybe one more round with the mower to collect and then we'll leave the rest where they fall.

We both survived the Supermall event and even got a little shopping done. It wasn't so holiday focused which made it less festive, but also kept it from feeling like everything was starting so early.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Join the Special Shopping Event Today

If you are in Western Washington, head over to the Auburn Supermall today for the Magical Day of Giving (11 am - 6 pm)! For a $5 contribution to the participating nonprofit organizations, you get discounts at many retailers and a chance to win these door prizes. The nonprofits receive all of the $5 contribution (& let me tell you, it adds up). In the past, the event has been quite festive with different musical organizations performing and other seasonal fun.

Now, I'm not one to send anyone to the mall, and I do very little holiday shopping. But most of us do have some shopping in preparation for the upcoming holidays. Even Dear Hubby is going to shop for dress shirts (non wrinkle) with the special discount at one of his few favorite stores. It always gets me thinking about the holidays in time to not be rushed.

We'll both spend some time helping out at one of the doors with ticket sales, welcoming shoppers, etc. along with other Way Back Inn volunteers. (At the Aviation Court entrance maybe?) Hope to see you there!

P.S. Please do go visit the Way Back Inn page even if you can't visit the Supermall. Also, the photo is from the our visit to the Gingerbread Village last December

Saturday, November 03, 2007

A Marigold Surprise

This marigold was done in by the recent frosts (photo from August). As I came across it today, I remembered I hadn't posted it yet. This is from seeds from her marigold, French Vanilla, Anita so generously sent me after I won her Easter drawing. Now I often have marigolds self seeding in the garden. I wonder if this one is a hybrid variety and in its second year, it has returned as one of its parents?

Don't get me wrong, it was a lovely plant. Just a little different than expected, I think! Anita, I thought you might enjoy seeing what it did in my garden. You know how I like garden surprises!

Meanwhile, the calandula you gave me still has some blooms!

Friday, November 02, 2007

Get Your Pumpkin Tax Refunds

Pumpkins and tax in the same story, all over the internet - I have to make note of it here. You all have probably read this already, but you know how I feel about pumpkins. Of course they are for eating. What if they don't all get eaten. I'm sure they aren't the only fruit and vegetable that doesn't always get eaten.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Governor Culver Statement On Pumpkin Tax
DES MOINES – Below is a statement from Governor Chet Culver on the decision by the Iowa Department of Revenue to impose a tax on pumpkins:
“It has come to my attention that a policy change made in December of 2006 – before I took office – is resulting in this ridiculous pumpkin tax. I have directed the Department of Revenue to do the common sense thing and suspend collection of this tax and offer refunds to consumers or retailers who have been affected.”

Iowa Department of Revenue Press Release:
Iowa Tax on Pumpkins Put on Hold
October 31, 2007
Iowa sales tax law exempts sales of food and food ingredients. Food and food ingredients are defined as substances that are sold for ingestion or chewing by humans and are consumed for their taste or nutritional value. A review of the issue of pumpkin sales occurred in the fall of 2006. The Department determined the pumpkins which had previously been exempt were not being purchased as a food item and should be taxed. It was first announced in December 2006. It was announced again in September 2007.

It has become apparent that not all sellers of pumpkins have become aware of the change in position by the Department. The Department has decided to revert to its prior policy of exemption. The Department will continue to review the issue and seek to make any changes through administrative rule making with opportunity for input by the public and the Legislative Rules Committee. Taxpayers who paid sales tax on pumpkin purchases can apply for a refund with the Department.