Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Think Snowmen

"We are blessed with memories so we may have jolly snowmen dancing in August and sweet roses with winter snow."

And when it is really hot, revisit those December (18 degrees) & January & March snow photos!

Surely, these hot temps will put an end to some of the slugs.

Be safe!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Cascara Berry Season

The Cascara tree berries are ripening and no sight or sound of the Cedar Waxwings yet. I watched another bird family educating the youngsters on these berries. They were very small birds, but not chickadees. I'll try to identify them when I see them again. Once the Waxwings arrive, the berries will disappear quickly.

Above, more to ripen. Looking back at prior year posts, they may be ripening a little early this year. It has been warm and dry.

Back around May 25th a flock of cedar waxwings showed up to check on the status of the annual Cascara berry crop. At that point, they were only tiny blossoms, below. The birds like to sit way up high in this nearby tree absorbing the evening sun. The bees and hummingbirds love these blossoms but it isn't want the waxwings are looking for. I hope they'll be back soon! They are beautiful and cheery birds. I love being in the garden when they are around. Here is a link with a better photo.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Leading Beans

Some of the beans have climbed to the top of the bean structure (aka 10 feet tall). They still have some filling out to do. Lower on the structure, every vertical wire has 1 or more vines so many are still working their way up.

I like to check on them each day when they are growing so much. Some catch on quickly to the whole climbing thing. Others need a little guidance.

These are the first beans I've noticed on the climbers. The bush beans start a little sooner and we may be picking the first of them tomorrow. I planted all of the left over pole bean seeds I had. I can't really tell which is which until they grow a little more (other than the red flowering runner beans... and maybe the purple beans - this one is neither of those!).
Above, the structure is made from two movable fence sections left by prior owners - one is 7 feet x 4 feet wide and the other is 10 feet x 4 feet. We attached them together with hinges at the top of the 7 footer.

See this August 2006 photo to see a side view of structure.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Curry Plant - Scratch & Sniff

Do you have a scratch & sniff gadget on your computer? If so, you'll want to use it for this plant. Wonderful curry aroma! I couldn't resist it when I found it on the mid summer sale herb rack.

Apparently, it isn't for eating, though. Websites say it doesn't taste like curry, and I haven't tried it. I just simply pet it and inhale every time I'm near it. A nice, soft texture to the plant's gray foliage, as well.

Formally, it is known as Helichrysum italicum. I don't know that it will overwinter here. I'll try to get a start from it that I can keep in the greenhouse or garage for the winter.

This isn't the first time I bought some odd plant just because I liked its aroma or foliage!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Sunny SAGBUTT Sunday

In the peaceful garden of Daniel and Michael. Sadie takes a break while showing the visitors around. What a perfect Sunday afternoon visiting the farm with others SAGBUTTees (Seattle Area Garden Bloggers United to Talk ... eating and exchanging seems to go along with these gatherings also). Or as Jean put it, Bloggers in Paradise! Check out the photos she posted. (More posts are now up. See Liisa and Karen.)

Hops - Michael, how did you describe the color/sheen? I'm glad you pointed out this loveliness. I wasn't sure if my first year hops were happy or if the leaves where trying to tell me something. I came home and checked. Sure enough, I found the same magical sheen.

Leave it to the critters to know the best spot to watch the garden grow. Maybe it was the warm day, but the wood's edge and its pathways were especially appealing.

Eggplant, in the greenhouse. Probably the first time I've seen it growing. It's a beautiful plant! I'm sure the harvest will be tasty, also. I'll have to try growing it.

David shares his rhubarb juice with Daniel (look out, Petunia's jumbo rhubarb plant...). With Michael, Liisa, Molly and Karen (not in photo), pondering the first bite from the delicious food treats. And gardeners always have something to share so most went home with produce from the host garden or plants that came along with the visitors.

Thanks for hosting the group, Daniel & Michael! You have a beautiful and welcoming spot there!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Excursion BLUE

Green is the common color theme in my photos. Here is a little blue from our excursion on Thursday evening. Friends took us out on their sailboat. What a fine evening it was, too.
Above, we started near Ballard, along the ship canal and went under the Fremont bridge. The waterways and connected lakes in Seattle include all sorts of working vessels along with recreational vessels. Through locks, the ocean can be reached. A family of ducks had priority to us in going under this bridge. We had to wait (well, we also thought we might get stuck if we didn't wait until it went up).
Above, Gas Works Park.

Downtown, from Lake Union.

Boat and lakeshore.

Above, houseboats need green too.

The floatplanes take off at one end of the lake.

Growing up without waterways running through the town, I'm fascinated with all of the different activities going on. We watched this barge go through, and then noticed the kayaker behind it (practicing her rough water skills, we guess). The large bridge is a major highway. The open bridge is over the canal leading to Lake Washington. On the water, though, our world is peaceful and relaxing!

I think this was my first time out on a sailboat. It was a fun evening with our friends and a beautiful summer evening in Seattle.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Look at Me, Mom!

Here's the young pacific tree frog after his successful climb out of the pond an up to this leaf! I think he looks a little tired and/or nervous. There is no stopping him now, though. Here is his tadpole picture a month ago (or one of his many siblings).

I just happened to see him heading up this stalk. Others were on lily pads, the side of the pond, and on the floating ornamental frog. I think some are still at the swimming stages. It will be a very noisy spring next year when they return in hopes of meeting that someone special!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Crimson Flowered Broad Beans

It doesn't take long to realize vegetables aren't just good to eat; they are also quite lovely. These are the crimson flowered broad beans Matron (from the UK) brought to our SAGBUTT swap (in Seattle). Here the group at the swap, also. She says she doesn't do flowers, but now we know why she doesn't need to!
And this is the other lovely broad bean that sprouted from the crimson flowered bean seeds! I like these flowers a lot, too, but wasn't expecting variety.

I also didn't realize these beads aren't climbers. They have a robust stalk that looks like it will support itself. I planted them with my climbing beans, though, and have to keep them from seeing the broad beans as a climbing stalk.

Matron, thanks for the seeds, flowers and future produce! How tall will they grow?

Friday, July 10, 2009

Expanding Peas

The peas had outgrown the gate "trellis." We expanded it by attaching the tops of three bamboo poles our neighbor gave us. The peas were very pleased and grabbed on to the bamboo before we could complete the installation.

The pea trellis expansion is still a little lower than the A-frame bean structure. As of tonight, the lead bean has entered the top quarter of the structure. Other beans are working to catch up. The leaves are filling out, also.

Still, at this point, it is difficult to envision the structure fully covered with the beans waving up on the top. Good thing I have former blog posts to remind me!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Garden Sun

In spite of the overcast days this week, the first sunflower has blossomed. He has quite a lead on the other sunflowers in the garden. I did plan seeds from a new mixture so I'm looking forward to the sunflower surprises.

Link to his young sprout days.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Clean and Cool

How's this for a cool way to spend a hot Friday afternoon! A shed clean out uncovered many pots needing a wash. These old washtubs were needing a bath before their next assignment. We found a shady spot and got busy (& cool).

Next step: Getting the keepers back in the shed.

Nope, the computer isn't really sorted out yet, so I uploaded the photo directly from the camera this time.

Hope everyone had a great 4th!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009


The tomatoes have still been under the "covered wagon" cloche. It's coming off tonight! That will give them a chance to work on their tan before the holiday. And a little more room for those green tomatoes to fill out.

(this would be the picture of the crowded cloche, if I wasn't computer deficient at the moment)

Hope to be back, with photos, soon.