Thursday, May 31, 2012

Hendersonville, NC

This is a learning together bear painted with handprints in Hendersonville. I missed the gardening bear, though. The views and spider are from Jump Off Rock. We didn't jump.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Required bug catching tools

My great-nieces taught me about catching bugs today.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

KS/SC Mimosa Memories

It was a nice surprise today to arrive at my brother's house in South Carolina and find the mimosa blooming. It came from a seed of the tree at our family's house in Kansas. We had many years of summers around those KS trees.

Monday, May 28, 2012


And rocking chairs at the Baltimore airport. DH is left in charge of the littlest tomatoes. (Matron-a black cherry tomato finally sprouted! Golden Jubilees are now in the garden.)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Petunia has returned!

She's living in these irises.   I hope she is eating a lot of slugs.

Evening Grosbeaks

A flock of evening grosbeaks have been in the area for a few weeks, on their way to somewhere.   These are taken through the window on a rainy day this week.   Yesterday and today, I haven't seem as many of them.   

They are a very cheerful and chatty group.  They remind me of the cedar waxwings who loudly announce their arrival for cascara berry season later in the year. 

Matron offered up slug training as a thesis topic in need of research.   While that is not in my sabbatical plan, squirrel training  is quickly moving up the list. 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Week's Weather Phone Post

The week's weather all on one view. This is a test post from my phone too.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Training Method Transfer

Hmmm... DH has picked up on my slug training methods. Now he is using them on me!

To train a slug, you simply change something enough to make their bad behavior less convenient or satisfying. For slugs who eat my seedlings, I surround the plant with ground coffee. So far, it has worked and the seedling has a chance to grow large enough to survive. I think the slugs will avoid the places with ground coffee (texture?) and stay in places without ground coffee. See these links to slug training post I and post II.

DH decided to clean out his desk drawers and bookshelf, but then went out of town before doing something with the treasures he found.   This makes it very inconvenient for me to use his desk!   Now, he will say it started with those fuses(?) I cleared out of the kitchen and left on his desk.  I agree his desk drawers are much cleaner now.

I will give him credit.  As an incentive for me to use this desk instead, he quickly set up a monitor and a key board before he left.  Usually, it is his desk looks like this.  We still have work to do on this alternative desk set-up, though.     I think I've been trained. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

"Border" Gardens

From our outing on Thursday, here is the northwest corner of Point Roberts, Washington, at Monument Park.  This is the start (or the end) of the "world's longest unguarded border," but it's not ungardened.   The house on the left is north of the border, in Canada.  I'm standing the US (I think). 

Along much of the US-Canada border, it is a ditch or a clearing that separates the two countries.  The fences on the left belong to Canadian houses.  The road on the right is in the US. 

To northern gardeners - a maintained ditch and a road mean a break in the trees.  A place for a garden on the south side of their fences!  

Most houses along the ditch made use of this southernmost edge of Canada.  We saw lots of gardens, some chairs, composters and a trampoline.  Some people without fences kept everything neat all the way to the road.    

I liked the garden houses (sheds) in some gardens along the ditch.  It reminded me of the train-side view of allotment gardens I've seen in the UK. 

There is supposed to be a geocache on the US side, but we felt odd parking on the road and wandering around in the hedgerow so close to the border.   Next:  The southeast corner of Point Roberts and tree tops.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Bean Structure Returns

The bean climbing structure is in place for one more year.  It blew over in a storm two years ago and I thought that finished it off.   We put it in place (without checking it too carefully) and expect it can make it one more year.    (It is made from two moveable fence panels the previous owners left here.) 

See photos in this link with the beans in place.  I've gone back to that placement, with it set in two beds and the pathway underneath.  Either way, it is difficult to reach the top of the structure, but it is just more fun with the pathway underneath.  See this link for it placed in one bed with the pathways on each side.  

The peas I started in the garage have sprouted.  They will go in the space between the bean structure and the chives (minus one chive clump).   This week I'll watch for a break in the rain to plant the peas and some assorted seeds.

The furthest row is full of lamb's ear (fuzzy), lemon balm and chamomile (bright green).  Hardly a weed can squeeze in so I'll leave it as is.  The flowers please the bees.  Borage is sprouting everywhere and I found two starts of anise hyssop by the bean structure.

No Petunia sightings yet.     She has lived in this lamb's ear bed in the past.  Now, it is so full she could have moved in and I wouldn't know it.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Point Roberts WA

Point Roberts, Washington - it takes two border crossings to get there, and two more to get home, but worth the trip (partly because we had never been there before).   It is about 5 square miles of land, with water on three sides and Canada on the north side.  See this link for a view of it all and how it came about.

We were already in Sumas, WA (and lots of farming and gardening to admire there).  This was our chance to cross the border at Sumas and drive west through Canada to Point Roberts. 

DH - inspecting a likely geocache hiding spot at Lighthouse Marine Park.

There is a small community, a marina and usually a lot of Canadians.  On this Thursday afternoon, there weren't many others around.

Here is a cache DH found at a different spot in the park.   DH will move the travel bug (the lady bug, in this case) to a different cache.  The owner can follow it around the world.

More later from other corners of Point Roberts.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Puyallup Demonstration Garden

This is what I want to see at my house... a pumpkin patch all ready to go.  That's a polka-dot composter pig in the corner.  These photos are from our accidental visit to the Puyallup Master Gardener Demonstration Garden.
(DH surprised me today by mowing the tall grass around our pumpkin patch. Now it is up to me to reach the soil level.)

Here are two different designs for hoop cloches.  The design, above, has a wooden frame that keeps the hoops in place.  The design, below, has short hoops that are attached to the wooden bed frame, without a ridge support.   I move my cloche to different places in the garden so it is more free-standing than these designs.

Above, the people are walking through the Jack and the Beanstalk children's garden.  The other beds are just getting started for the year.

And a perennial / wildlife garden, above. 

The garden has classes and children's activities throughout the summer.  Here is the link to the schedule.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

DH: Happy Birthday!

DH:  Listen to your Mom (above)!  But remember how much fun we had on those slippery slopes in Germany?   

He took a nice a running start at his slope on Saturday with a few friends, dinner, Costa Rica-inspired beverages, cheesecake, iphone app instructions, a special t-shirt that will show up in travel photos and an age-appropriate geocaching travel bug.  

Thanks to the friends and chocolate, I now have the start to the collection of photos that will come out for his 80th birthday party....  

He bought his own Glenmorangie. (Or is that for me?)

Grab the sled - No doubt we'll enjoy the ride.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Northwest Moon

The super moon with NW trees and clouds (a few weeks ago).

I will appreciate another dose of blue sky and sunshine tomorrow.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Garden Math

Neighbor asked if I had a place for some of her tomato seedlings from her amazing greenhouse. Yes, I have space for two.  The types she has are Legend and Golden Nugget. 

I like garden math:
2 plants 'taken' by e-mail = 11 plants in person.  Usually, we stop here.
This time, I can return with tadpoles and little frogs.

Can you see the shadow of Emily, the garden inspector?  See her garden story here and picture here.

Thanks, neighbor! 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Our Kitchen Time Capsule

Just some of the items found on a convenient kitchen shelf that is supposed to hold only our address book.

2004 We moved into this house
2004 Starbucks Card I was given for a project (I used it today)
2004 Sunflower seeds from Kansas
2005 Seeds from our first, & largest, pumpkin
2006+ Geocaching treasures
2007 Coins from Japan
2008 Ferry schedule
2009 Wisteria pods from Arizona
2010 Pet license tags (the cats refuse to wear them)
2011 Shells, rocks & chestnut from a trip
2012 Iron drops from a foundry
And other assorted seeds, parts and mystery things

What will I find in the junk drawer?

Thursday, May 10, 2012

To Be for 180 Days

What would you do with 180 days outside of your usual routine?  Maybe some of your usual routine, but without a lot of it, too?   Link to Sleepy Bee.

I'm off from work this summer.  The garden calls.  And so does the list of previously neglected to-do's beyond the garden.  My recycle basket was filled several times today.  Link to busy bee with pollen baskets (yellow spot on his leg).

...there are some flights scheduled.  Link to hummingbird and beans.

And this is just a reminder to pay attention!  Link to danger bee.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Covered Wagon Cloche Returns

Since I came home Saturday with some tomato plants, they needed a home.  I prepared one of the garden beds and moved the cloche frame in.    See these links to part I and part II of the cloche's first days.

Inside the cloche, I planted the tomatoes and mini bell peppers.  Outside of it, I planted broccoli and Flashy Trout's Back romaine lettuce.   Then I put the plastic in place using the clips from Japan.  The photo, above, is before I closed the ends.  

That's a large Oriental poppy seen through the other end.  It's not yet blooming like Alison's

Here it is closed up for the evening.  On hot days, I don't open the ends all the way.  I undo a clip at the top of each end which opens up a "vent" simply due to the way the plastic fits over the frame.

This same frame recovered from this snow damage and here too.  

Sunday, May 06, 2012

New Cloche Clips

Molly - I have my own Japanese clips!  These are on the cloche (more on that tomorrow) in place of the clips in this post. 

After seeing Molly's clips when our SAGBUTT garden bloggers group went to her garden on Tiger Mountain (see this link), I asked my Japanese connection about them. 

My friend from Japan mailed me some.   They are clothes pins for hanging laundry on bamboo poles.  I will be able to thank her in person when we attend her wedding later this year.

While my old clips were ok, they were damaging the plastic covering and they were hard to use when wet or cold.  These new clips are very easy to use.   And now I have a whole garden bed planted, including some tomato and pepper plants in the cloche.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Life's Shower

 Life's Shower
These valves are here for you today
Which wheel to turn is yours to say
Your choice is right
There is no wrong
The flow from each makes mankind strong
(seen along the street in Puyallup, WA)

 Love - Patience - Mercy - Tolerance
Honesty - Faith - Peace - Hope

(I took a long shower in patience, mixed with faith no one will get hurt and a twist of all others to prepare for being an adult volunteer for a project this evening...)

This sign was also nearby.  It is DH's favorite: 

Friday, May 04, 2012

Tiny Tomatoes

The tomato seeds I planted on Saturday spouted, one on Wednesday and two more yesterday.  These are Golden Jubilee, from Matron.  I'm hoping for a really long summer so it won't matter that these are just getting started. 
I'm hoping for sprouts from the Queensland Blue pumpkin seeds.  Since I cannot find my seed starting book, I checked some internet sources and confirmed that squash & pumpkins don't want light to spout.  I've left them in the warm spot under the sink. 
Now to keep this indoor garden pest from from finding them.  Actually, I'm keeping them under a clear cover to keep them warm, yet near the kitchen window.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Seed Oven

For seeds who don't want light to germinate, this is where I have the most luck.  It is under my kitchen sink and warmed from the heat duct that runs underneath the space.   I just have to check it every day to see if anyone has sprouted because all of the seedlings do want light.

And for my friend in Kansas where the temperature is in the 90's - it's not here! We still have the heat on.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Magic May Day Porch

The May Day surprises on my magic porch - lucky bamboo and a begonia!  The hummingbirds will line up for this begonia.  

Things appear on this porch.  It goes with my magic kitchen window that makes plants happy and magic seed-sprouting oven under the sink and above heater duct.  With lucky bamboo in the house, I'm watching for new paint on the magic walls.

I followed these instructions for all of my excursions out of the house today, too.

Thank you to the magic May Day fairies!