Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Hang On!

No, not my latest try at garden art. Just a request to not give up on me while I'm hands off the key board. No worries! I'll be back around the blog circuit soon enough to post sowing updates.

(that's a real Volkswagen, but the way)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Bloom Day February

After a bloom discouraging January, I found some blooms (...and near blooms) to post this month. Visit May Dreams Gardens to find other Feb. 15th bloom day garden bloggers.

The heather in the bright sunlight caught the attention of me, and a huge bumblebee.

I added some forsythia twigs to the black pussy willow twigs Molly shared at the Feb. 7th SAGBUTT meeting. There wasn't a bud on them, but the flowers popped out after some days in the house. I wonder if the pussy willow will sprout some roots in the vase (I hope, I hope).

Unlike last year, there are no open snowdrops yet. This one is the closest to opening.

When I first saw this plant, I thought it was a pussy willow. Then I learned it was a star magnolia. A few months later, it became one of my favorite plants! Here is an April preview.

Friday, February 13, 2009

WA Public Garden Links

This is an in-development list of links to public gardens, parks and other places of gardening interest, mostly in western Washington state. I hope to visit them some day, and SAGBUTT may be the reason! Additions welcome.

Seattle / Bellevue / King County Area (somewhat North to South):
Further afield:

Still looking for more?

Karen, at Greenwalks , shared her list and reviews on Seattle area gardens. NOW, I find out about this nice list! And thanks to Catherine, A Gardener in Progress, for her additions.

Here is a link to even more WA Gardens from the I Love site, I found from one of these other garden sites.

Any future SAGBUTT meeting locations??? Stay tuned...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Foggy February

Must be that time of the year. Some days, it's fog. Some days, it's snow. Both offer a nice layer of quiet that I enjoy.

Now, the fog will always make me think of Jean's peaceful painting, Bunny in Winter Fog. Visit Jean at Pill Bug's Point of View and see how her garden and art intertwine. And, Jean, it was very nice to meet the person behind the paintings and blog at our gardener gathering!

We haven't seen our rabbits since the cold of December. I imagine some will find us again. Fortunately, they seem to be content with the greenery outside of the vegetable garden!

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Thank You, SAGBUTTees!

Today was the first meeting of the Seattle Area Garden Bloggers (who) United To Talk... and talk we did! And ate and laughed and shared. Fresh from the garden thyme scones, even!

A big THANK YOU and virtual bouquet to Karen for instigating and organizing this gathering and Melanthia, Garden Muse, for setting up the Groups / Facebook pages ... And everyone for stepping out beyond the blog for a little face-to-face. Such a group of creative and talented individuals we have here!

Pop over to Greenwalks for Karen's photos and great review. Yes, the easy way for me, but she covered it so well!

February 7th and just look at all this color at the garden where we met:

There is talk of a meet up during the upcoming garden show and I'm investigating options for March. Oh, the places we'll go and the gardens we'll see!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

First Dig

One down, five...six more to go. I can see the salad bed here this year. Ok, we did leave Emily's catnip down at the far end. Maybe one tomato, only a few steps from DH's bench.

This bed hosted flowers, herbs and a spare vegetable or two these past years. The herbs were getting too comfortable and some grass & weeds were moving in with the flowers.

So, a good clean out was in order. It had rained the night before, but it wasn't too muddy. Brought over some decomposing leaves from another bed and turned them over into the soil. Then added another sprinkling of leaves. Now the worms can do the work for a few months.

This time of year, it is difficult to remember the garden beds looking like this post (photos taken from the bench).

Sunday, February 01, 2009

What to Grow 2009 - Broccoli

Do you have a broccoli variety you recommend? In taking stock of what seeds I have and what seeds I need (and what seeds I want), I've determined I won't have enough broccoli seeds. So, what to order?

I've been growing a seed blend of Everest, Packman, Small Miracle and Southern Comet. These are supposed to produce over different periods and provide a nice season of broccoli. However, I haven't been able to tell them apart and I would like to know which variety is actually growing. That's why this year I'd like to grow a specific variety.

Each year, I winter sow some broccoli in milk jugs in late Feb. or early March. Then I plant the seedlings in the garden under the cloche or some sort of protection. I have to discourage slugs from eating the seedlings, usually by putting coffee grounds around the seedling. If I can get it past the size a slug can eat all in one night, then it will be fine on its own. I try to start more plants throughout the spring. The young broccoli plants above are from May 2007.

After harvesting the main head, I hope for lots of side shoots for more eating. Finally, I let the bees have it. See this link about broccoli bee bliss.

Any suggestions?