Thursday, May 28, 2009

Finally, some gardening

Memorial weekend garden photo. The nice weekend did give us a chance to catch up on some spring projects and gardening. Plus lots of nice time outside. The "covered wagon" cloche has been moved to a different bed this year. It has recovered from the December snow & ice. Tomatoes and sweet peppers are planted inside.

Planted assorted pole beans and one row of bush beans (more to plant later). Those are peas starting to climb the gate at the other end of this bed. In the past, the bean structure went across two beds with the pathway underneath. This year, it is all in one bed. Hopefully, I'll still be able to reach the top with a ladder. See what the bean structure looked like in summer 2007 here.
Remember composting in place last fall? Above is one of the beds now with the compost half dug in.

Above, another bed with the compost not yet dug in.
And here it is after digging, and planting carrots, beets and chard. Last year, Emily ran through the carrot bed and stirred it all up. The screen may give them a chance to sprout first.

NEXT: Refreshed pathways... I'm picking up a load of coffee bags tomorrow (finally)! We're taking the truck rather than the car so I should have some to share.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Mason Bees - Class of 2010

Thanks to my neighbor, I have a starter block with nested mason bees! She saw my post about the Garden Tour and the bee attraction. They have been housing bees for years and placed out some starter blocks for the nesting bees. A good way to share them with others.

I realized it was just the right size to fit in a bird box we had that was really the wrong size for any birds we're likely to get. DH took the front off of the box, and it will be a perfect fit.

Plus, DH cut and drilled more blocks to fill up the house (along with the nest-filled block) and extras. Think we'll add the shingles to the top of the little house and then use others to make a little roof for a condo of the extra blocks. We'll hang them in two different areas to see if we might still attract a few more nesters this year.

The drilled hole are 5/16 inch diameter and about 3 inches deep. We used untreated 2x4 boards we had in our misc. wood collection. We'll hang them where they are a little protected from the weather and have a morning sun exposure, but not the strong afternoon sun.

Thanks for sharing, Neighbor!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Busy Like Bees

With nice weekend weather, we've been busy bees, indeed. Really shouldn't try to catch up the whole spring in a weekend or two, though! Some fun, some progress and any reason to be outside is a good one. Above, the bees must be able to get what they want from the outside of the columbine also. Some went inside, others went for the outside crown.

The columbine shapes are amazing as they go from new blossoms to full flowers. I'll have to collect seeds from the plants with the rose colored flowers. There are only a few of them this year.

The flowers are actually more of a purple. The photos always have more of a blue color and I've never tried tweaking the settings to see if I can capture their real color.

More weekend projects to post about soon.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


Look closely and you can see some little bits of green on the newly installed shelves! It's from a few types of basil and sweet peppers from a growers sale yesterday. The other pots contain some seeds I came across while sorting out a box stashed in the shed. Does that make it a greenhouse now? The other purchases from the sale are planted or are okay waiting outside until planted.

The shelving came from the same sale where I found the stained glass. We used the shelves as they came to us (other than a quick coat of spray paint to delay rusting). The larger piece fit perfectly across the back. The other two pieces brought the shelving around to half of each wall. That gives me half without fixed shelving for flexibility.

Hopefully, the shelves are high enough that I can do an inground bed on one side, and pots and movable lower shelving on the other side as needed. The shelving also keeps me from hitting my head on the lower parts of the ceiling!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

It's Time!

My neighbor spotted this volunteer sunflower in my garden last night. To me, this signals the time for planting more sunflower seeds as needed. Last year, we found the first ones in late April.

I think this will be a red & yellow petaled flower, like this one.
It could be all red, like this one. I can tell because the stalk and leaves have darker shades than all yellow sunflowers.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Garden Tour

Thanks to the three Tukwila gardeners who invited visitors during the Backyard Wildlife Festival. A park with a nice winter garden was also on the tour. Hopefully, my wildlife won't see this and decide to move! This garden had varied and interesting views and habitats in every direction. This photo captures a pond area to the left, sunny gardens and the blue fence in the background that made the plants really stand out. I bet it looks sunny even on our grayest days.
Who needs the garden show when you can see real gardens that have withstood the test of time. Along with the blue fence, this gardener uses windows, mirrors and found materials to create her garden rooms.

The gate into the shade garden (yes a former bed headboard).

At another garden, I enjoyed watching the mason bees select their choice nesting tube. I have just the orchard spot to add a bee home in my garden.
Unfortunately, I didn't take photos at the third garden. It had an amazing variety of clematis plants, other flower gardens and a cozy clearing amongst the trees. No doubt a happy find for city wildlife.

Thanks to these gardeners who were willing to show how a wildlife friendly garden can also be beautiful and welcoming to the people visitors as well.

Sunday, May 10, 2009


...just think how much fun we'll have once we actually have plants in it! The last panel went in just as the raindrops started.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Garden Kindness

I don't know about at your garden, but my garden has May Day (May 1) Fairies that bring it treats! Home sprouted geraniums destined for the whiskey barrel on the way to the garden and a fragrant Honeymelon Sage with red flowers getting ready to open. I have the sweetest May Day Fairies anywhere!

And this is the grand building the Weed Whackin' Wenches located for our April SAGBUTT meeting. Just outside is the Good Shepard p-patch and Seattle Tilth demonstration garden. How perfect is that for a garden meeting! Thanks, WWW, hosting the meeting!

An thanks to Karen for sharing these fragrant shade lovers. Please tell me the name again! And our new attendee, TEL, shared colorful sedums with us! She's thinking about starting her garden blog. (They look a little water logged here. No worries, I just just watered them and the water was just soaking in.)
I love having treasures in my garden that came from others. It's like we're all out there together! Thank you for sharing!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Backyard Wildlife Festival May 9

The trouble with traveling this time of year is that there is so many plant sales and events to miss. Here is one event I didn't miss and thought you might be interested:

Saturday, May 9 - 9am to 3pm
Tukwila Community Center - 12424 42nd Ave. S. - Tukwila
Craft Vendors, Education, Workshops 9am - 3pm
Certified Wildlife Garden Tour 1pm - 5pm

"A free, all-day event to educate and inspire people to welcome wildlife - such as birds, butterflies, and other wildlife - into their backyards, gardens and communities. The event will host a variety of activities and educational opportunities on how to attract and support wildlife through garden and landscape practices, and creating and preserving wildlife habitat in our region."

I've attended a few times, including one year when I did do the Garden Tour. Maybe, just maybe, I'll make it again this year!

Monday, May 04, 2009


Slowly, we're getting it braced and the panels in place. Others have suggested closing the ends of the panels with aluminum foil tape to keep out the dust, bugs and mold. It has been a tedious task that may or may not work. Only time will tell.

As we didn't remove the grass before we placed the frame, I've laid down a grass barrier and placed coffee bags over it to keep it in place. By the time I'm ready to work on the floor, the grass should be considerably discouraged.

Sunday, May 03, 2009


There are greenhouse tips some would have heeded. "Locate the greenhouse close to the house so bad weather doesn't discourage you from visiting it."

I returned home Saturday evening in the rain to find the greenhouse door open. Oh, well, it might as well get used to the rain. I didn't go close it (this time, anyway).