Sunday, March 8, 2015

More Spring Blossoms

Not much has gotten done in the garden lately.  I hurt my back a little over a week ago (have no idea what I did, it just started hurting) and haven't been able to walk much, let alone tackle my garden
to-do list.

I had big plans for last Tuesday, a day off, starting with a trip to the Grange Co-op for 100% steer manure (did you know most "manure" bought at the big box hardware stores is labeled "manure blend" and you don't know how much real manure you're getting?), sand, grass seed, annuals, perhaps a pollinator for the plumcot, and maybe even a Compact Stella cherry for the front yard.  Then, I was going to dig up and relocate a vinca near the sidewalk and replace it with a helianthemum, "Henfield Brilliant."  Underneath the scientific name helianthemums are another kind of rockrose.


I was going to, with a lot of help from my son, relocate "Luther," the plumcot.  Or, I should say,
re-relocate.  We had a rain not long after planting the tree, and the water was just sitting there around the trunk, so I knew it would have to be in a raised bed, like the peach tree, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries... just about anything I grow!  So, we dug it out, temporarily putting it in a part of the raised bed where I grow tomatoes.  We planned to move some cinder blocks and soil and replant it a few days later. Now, it's been a week.  It should be fine, but I really want to get it to it's permanent place.

But, instead I ended up spending much of Tuesday in pain and in the E.R.  Nearly a week later I am still in pain, and my own doctor won't see me until Wednesday!  I have spent many pleasurable hours going through my favorite gardening books though!

I am missing some gorgeous spring blossoms, so sent my son out to photograph them.  If the photos look better than in previous posts it's because they were taken with his camera!  Mine is shot, and he rarely uses his, which is much better than mine was to begin with.

He got some nice shots of Frosty, the Frost peach, in bloom.  Yes, it's still sick with canker, but I'll let it live as long as it can.





Thursday, February 19, 2015

Spring! Spring?

Skip to February.

Seems like spring already.

Daffodils and dwarf iris in bloom...

If I'd known what the dwarf iris looked like I'd have planted them in clumps...
Feb. 19
Asparagus up...


Flowering quince in full bloom...


Blueberry bushes budding...

Legacy Blueberry
Feb. 2015
All about a month early.  The weather has been warm, 60s.  All winter's been warm.  There were a few days with some frost, and two where the dog's outdoor water (they are house dogs mostly) was frozen a bit, but nothing like it should have been.  Poor itchy Edward the Goldendoodle.  He needs a hard frost to help his seasonal allergies and allow him to stop taking his antihistamines. Didn't happen, and probably won't now.  I hope it doesn't mean an extra early, extra hot summer.

I planted a new fruit tree today!  Right in a hole in the ground, no raised beds or fuss.  I have no success with fussing over fruit trees (Dale the Braeburn had his borers, last year's Frosty the Frost peach has some sort of canker), so doing the opposite!  It's a Plumcot, Flavor Supreme variety.  A Plumcot  is part plum and part apricot.  It was "invented" by Luther Burbank more than 100 years ago.  Naturally, it's name is Luther!


Now, I have previously mentioned, more than once (okay, probably more than thrice) that the yard is full of rocks.  But, this is ridiculous!  All that grassy expanse, and when I ask my son to dig a hole "here" he hits rocks!  Not small rocks, like normal, natural rocks.  No, big rocks, like the kind we have in the walk-ways or tucked under the deck.  My son insists the previous owners (we call them "Sainted Eleanor," due to the endless praise extolled upon her by the neighbors, and "Eleanor's husband") must have buried them!  Bury rocks?  A foot deep?  Randomly around the yard?  I hope not!


I planted peas.  It had rained quite a bit last month (not cold, but wet), so I didn't get out to prepare proper pea beds.  I didn't even have proper peas.  The Grange Co-op didn't have Territorial Seed Cascadia, and as I was running late, I just bought some Sugar Snap pea seeds from the Dollar Tree for 25 cents a pack!  Won't it be a surprise if they produce well!  I planted them in the recycled gate bed, and where I used to have a couple of blue tubs, against the fence where the trellis is.  I threw out all the plastic containers I was using.  They didn't do well, and were falling apart.  I also dismantled the 4 x 4 cedar bed I bought at The Home Depot.  It was too shallow and nothing ever grew well in it. The pieces are temporarily by the fence trellis, with peas.


There are going to be lots of raspberry plants!  The original ten babies are spreading!  Above ground they look dormant and stringy, but below ground they have been spreading and have now started to put up runners.  Lots of them!  Fine by me, the more the "berrier!"


So, things are looking up in the garden.  I won't be planting nearly so many vegetables this spring as I have in the past.  Only the ones I really love, and only as many as I can reasonably eat!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Wow... where'd the summer go?

Apologies...   I can't imagine not posting since July 4th!  I did start a new job, but that's only part-time, in the afternoons, so that's no excuse.  Speaking of the job...  I often mention The Grange Co-op, and that's where I got a job!  At their pet store location.  I LOVE PETS!  I have three dogs and two cats, and since starting to work there we added two little boy Guinea pigs and a baby girl rat!

As for the garden, all I can do is mention the summer harvests and some dramatic growth in other areas.

Both my full size tomatoes were indeterminate, which I will not be getting next year.  They set too much fruit all at once for my family to manage.  I tore out Ace, leaving Siletz, which is still producing in our mild October.  Sungold was, as always, a reliable cherry.   I had few bush beans. The lemon cucumbers outdid themselves!  There are a few left, but the plants are fading fast. Peppers didn't do well, but they seldom do.  I did get a few nice gold ones, and one I forgot turned red and was very sweet.



The biggest change was to the front yard.  It is looking nice, if I do say so myself!  

June 29th - two rockroses, golden oregano, Tuscan blue rosemary, and a lavender
Same plants on October 16th! 
Newly transplanted iris - summer
October iris - they almost need dividing again!  
New handrail and day lilies - September (We will be adding a side handrail too.)  The Hidcote lavender under the window is doing well.  I am slowly adding more flat rocks to the walkway.

The raspberries I transplanted have spread nicely, and a few new plants have started emerging between the rows.  

July

September

So, that will do for now.  I hope to keep up on this better in the future! I am making a list of what to accomplish before winter hits.  

Friday, July 4, 2014

Iris, Raspberries and Rocks on Independence Day

Happy Independence Day USA!  

The iris have been transplanted (as well as divided) to the front yard... 


and the raspberries have been planted in the iris' former bed.


I have four plants too many, but will keep them around a while in case I need to replace any of these.  I will be putting in a support system within the next few days.  Free with bamboo I have, or $14 for t-posts I have to buy?  Probably the free, at least for the time being.  I already bought peat and steer manure to amend the bed.  Plus I dug in some soil sulfur to help the acidity. 

There are five Hidcote lavender (small and dark purple) planted under the front window.  (The damaged siding was sanded and sealed by the painting company, I primed it, and it just needs to be painted.)


Naturally, the yard yielded more than enough rocks to line the bed!  The neighbor (on the other side of the "fence" with the iris) remembers how the former owner of my house would bring home loads of rocks from vacations several years running!  (Not recommended, and probably illegal on public land.)  That does account for the overabundance of rocks!  I have a garden cart full left over, as well as a pile of flat stones still in front that I hope to add to the current stepping stone path used as a shortcut to the mailbox. 

Sunday, June 29, 2014

WOW! The garden's really taken off!

I forget year to year how quickly the garden starts growing once warm weather arrives!  There are...

Tomatoes:

Ace - June 29

Sungold (cherry) - June 29
Beans:

bush beans - June 29
Cucumbers:

lemon cucumber - June 29

lemon cucumber - June 29
Squash:

compost heap squash volunteers - June 29



Peppers:

Golden Wonder bell - June 29
Blueberries:

Blue Crop (5 bushes) and Legacy (1 bush) blueberries - June 29

I'm getting enough to freeze!  Plus I am making blueberry muffins for breakfast this morning.
The boysenberries are finished, but for a dozen or so individual berries.  I have a few bags of berries frozen. It was their first year producing, so I think future harvests will be larger.

boysenberries
Boo loves to garden.  Here he is checking for pests. Not really, he's the pest searching for his tennis ball!  I am not sure what I dug into that part of the bed to get the plants so big and healthy.  Those marigolds are going to take over.  The cucumbers have a long summer's growth ahead of them, but they are already forming fruit.  


I am off to bake those blueberry muffins! 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Boysenberry Pie

If a picture tells a thousand words, a few pictures must tell a million... so I will get straight to the boysenberry pie!




Nothing much more to say about it other than it was delicious, and that I am picking more berries this morning!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Berry Update for June 2014

Raspberries!  Oh, they are so delicious!  I haven't had freshly picked raspberries since I was a little girl on vacations in Fort Bragg, CA.  I only have one plant currently producing berries, so am really looking forward to next year (hopefully) when the baby plants bear fruit!  There are no photos of the handfuls I pick each morning, since my daughter and I gobble them up before I remember I need to get a picture!  It's a Meeker raspberry, which produce well in the Pacific Northwest.  Seeing how long the vines grew, I will need to move it once the bed for the new plants is finished.  That needs to be soon, as there are are now baby raspberry suckers coming out the drainage holes of the plants awaiting the bed! 

Meeker raspberries - almost ripe!


waiting for their new bed
The blueberries are getting plump!

Legacy Blueberries - June 2014

and numerous...

Bluecrop Blueberries - June 2014
I am harvesting more strawberries a day than we can eat, so I am freezing some.  The first ripe ones were lost to sow bugs/slugs/something.  I used diatomaceous earth, which didn't help.  So, I have resorted to Cory's snail and insect bait.  Now I get most of the strawberries, around 5:1 for me!  They smell just like sweet strawberry jam. I have no idea what kind of strawberries they are, other than June bearing. 



The boysenberries are ripening!  This is their first crop and I am so excited!  I have eaten two so far, and they tasted like pie!  There will be so many ripening at once, a pie is the first thing I am going to make! When they are ripe the berries are nearly as dark as blackberries, one of the boysenberry's parent.  Actually, these may be tayberries, the woman who gave me the bareroot canes wasn't sure which they were, boysenberry or tay.  Tayberries are a hybrid of blackberries and raspberries.  Boysenberries are a blackberry, raspberry, and dewberry cross. 


Updates on peas, tomatoes, peppers, compost pile volunteers, etc. to be coming soon!   This is an African daisy...