Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - January 2019

It's Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day! 

Thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens


So, what's blooming in my garden on this cold January morning?

Just rosemary.

Prostrate rosemary

Blue Boy rosemary

That's it.
The end.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Winter Sowing - day 6

Except for three grasses still to arrive via mail (purple fountain, Blonde Ambition, love grass) and a few seeds leftover from last year or my own saved seeds, I'm done with what needs to be Winter Sown. I have saved lance-leaf coreopsis.  I'll only need the old borage if the multitude of seedlings already up die.  Same with the bachelor buttons; I have both saved seeds and newly purchased.  Wow, that's only three new and three old!  I really am almost done!

          51 - Welsh onion
          52 - yarrow, mixed colors (free gift)
          53 - sweet pea, knee-high (planted some in the fall, never germinated)
          54 - sweet pea, tall
          55 - sage, garden (I have some, but I could use more!)
          56 - alyssum Basket of Gold, yellow
          57 - alyssum, mixed pink and purple
          58 - Roman chamomile (this is the perennial kind of chamomile)
          59 - Tidy Tips (a yellow and white daisy-type)
          60 - godetia
          61 - godetia
          62 - prepared milk jug ready for the first grass seed that arrives!
          63 - Mexican red sunflower (I read they can be Winter Sown, even though they are heat lovers, but I saved some seeds to direct sow too)

The photos really show how the milk drinker was out of town!  Notice the milk jug containers are starting up again!  You might be thinking these Winter Sowing "day" photos were all taken the same time (with additions or deletions in the containers), what with all of them featuring Boo!  I promise, they weren't!  He just hangs around me, not to hang around me, but because he hopes I'll throw the ball that's somewhere nearby!

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Beautiful Weather - Project Complete!

It was 64 degrees today with beautiful blue skies!  But, that is not a good thing for the dormant fruit trees, bulbs and seeds.  We don't want them thinking spring has arrived, only to be hit by freezing temperatures next week or next month.  A year ago last week we had a record snow (only surpassed by the amount in 1919), so I'm still holding my breath hoping that doesn't happen again.  Anyone say "climate change?"

I used my Lowe's gift certificate (thanks daughter!) today.  I spent time making a detailed list, getting my ducks in a row I guess.  I got four bags of steer manure (not as good as dairy manure, but I can't locate that), four bags of small bark chips, 1 half-off broken bag of sand, ten bricks (these are grey, they were out of the red to match, but for my use it doesn't matter), a 50' roll of weed cloth, and a half-off broken bag of raised bed soil (that was an impulse buy seeing it was broken).  I also bought a replacement recessed toilet paper holder, but that wasn't part of the Christmas certificate!  The certificate showed an image of a gift card spelling out MOM in succulents!  Cute!

The bricks, weed cloth, and bark chips are already used!  I finished the area near the new Pollinator Garden.  There is cardboard still under a lot of it, so it's still a bit thick and bumpy, but the cardboard will rot away.  The grass peeking up from the edges won't be green much longer!  I think the chips are a bit bigger and courser than the ones I used near the raised vegetable beds, but they are different brands. 

Oh, those concrete blocks are, as my mother used to say, "as crooked as a dog's hind leg!"
Beauty Boo

Then I had to go spoil the effect by reinstalling the wire fencing barrier protecting the daylily transplants from Edward.  I didn't push the bark all the way to the concrete blocks, but it will be fine when they fall over there themselves.  The daylilies will come right through.  All of them are doing very well, with new growth showing.  They are very hardy plants!
I see the Butterfly Garden path to the left needs re-mulching

Another thing off my list, and sooner than the spring date I had scheduled!

Friday, January 11, 2019

Dark, Damp, Dreary... but not all's dismal and depressing!

It's easy to see nothing but brown in the garden in winter.  The herb garden is at its worst right now (other than the rosemary).  The oregano is flat, the thyme pruned to nothing but sticks, sage drops more leaves daily. 

But, sitting on the edge of the deck this morning, waiting for the hummingbird I saw a few minutes earlier to return to the rosemary (it scolded me in its high pitched chirps and left), and noticed so much spring hope!  Yes, it's less than a month into winter, on the calendar, but look here...

Bulbs are bursting out of the soil everywhere.

Star of Bethlehem in container where I planted it last year

in the paths (these may be Star of Bethlehem from when it was wild in the lawn that was here

in the new herb garden, where they must be hardy survivors of the digging the new area

on the edges of the new herb bed, where I didn't disturb the existing plantings

sprouting sparaxis in the old herb garden, it's also growing in the front yard bed

Some even seem to be ready to bloom! 

There are buds on the dormant wisteria and Jelly Bean blueberry.  So, really they aren't dormant, they are very busy inside!


Jelly Bean blueberry
There's new lemony catnip and lupine growth in the Butterfly Garden. Both of these were Winter Sown last year.

lemony catnip

Russell lupine

Dittany of Crete oregano has new spring green growth.

And the hardy geraniums, while looking completely dead, aren't.  This is a new one for me, I grew it from seed last year (Winter Sown in fact), so I didn't know it had a sort of crown (not sure that's the right word) in the middle for its new spring growth. 

hardy geranium

So, it may be winter, it may look like not much is happening, but look closer.  There's lots of growth going on! 

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Winter Sowing - day 5, almost done!

Got containers #44 - #50 done today.  Only one new milk jug.  My big milk drinker was out of town for three weeks, and it shows!  I need to push the milk consumption, I need those jugs!

Beautiful Boo, yet again

          44 - showy milkweed
          45 - yellow four o'clocks
          46 - Rocky Mountain blue penstemon
          47 - sweet William (free seeds, I don't care for the space-stealing size of the plants)
          48 - coscosmia, 'Lucifer'
          49 - rain lilies (don't expect these to grow, I read they need to be planted directly after harvesting)
          50 - lavender, 'Ellagance Snow' (my own saved seeds, I'm not holding my breath on these!)

I'm actually almost done.  14 new seed packets (not necessarily "new" as in never grown before, new as in bought for this season) and 7 either my own saved seeds or older packets I never used last year.  I'm waiting on Welsh onions and three kinds of ornamental grasses for the front yard to arrive by mail.  Welsh onions are neither Welsh, nor used in Welsh cooking!  They are originally from Asia, and the name comes from a word meaning "foreign."  I'm going to try to grow it, not for eating, but for it's ornamental flowers.  Since the blue fescue in the front yard is successful to the point of seeding all over the place (I cut off the beautiful flowers this past year so it wouldn't), I'm going to try growing a few other grasses and let them all go wild!  Something needs to be big enough to keep the neighbor's cats away. 

As you can see, it's a sunny day.  The sunrise was so beautiful I went out and tried to get pictures but they didn't do it justice.  The "smoke" isn't.  Its from the nearby Boise Cascade mill that makes plywood, and it's steam as it dries.  Some days the air is perfumed with wonderful wood smells! 

Of course, "red sky at morning, sailors take warning" means rain is on the way.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Winter Sowing - day 4

A small Winter Sowing on Sunday. It was cold and wet out, so I didn't want to spend much time outside.
I thought I had five containers (large Slurpee and soda bottles) prepped, but after getting outside I found six, so I added an "a" and "b" to the calendulas.  One can never have too many calendulas!  I'll also direct seed them, and they usually self-seed early enough in the season for the new seedlings to flower.  

          39 - bunny tails grass
          40a and 40b - calendula, Pacific Beauty
          41 - garlic chives (have some from last year, want more even though others will self-seed eventually)
          42 - Armenia basketflower (giant knapweed)
          43 - lemon bee balm (my favorite in the Butterfly Garden!  May be a perennial, have to wait and see.  May be an annual, so will need more.)

The black and blue plastic things are the bottoms from rodent cages.  Unfortunately we are down to one of those little fellas.  The cage bottoms, with holes drilled, make nice planters for spinach, lettuce, and chard.  They're too shallow for much else. 

Friday, January 4, 2019

Winter Sowing - day 3

Day 3:

Beautiful Boo
          27 - globe gilia
          28 - butterfly weed (my own saved seeds, been in refrigerator since harvesting)
          29 - purple coneflower
          30 - blue-eyed grass
          31 - cardinal flower (tiniest seeds, I zoomed in with a camera to make sure they weren't dirt!)
          32 - rock purslane
          33 - Jupiter's beard (against advice, it can become invasive, it's in a Coke bottle)
          34 - creeping thyme (last year's purchased seeds, in the flat bakery container)
          35 - Indian blanket flower (I tossed a small handful into the new Pollinator Garden bed)
          36 - dwarf cosmos (largest Slurpee cup with dome for this and the blanket flower)
          37 - agastache Sunset (this and the next are in the small plastic bottles from cranberry juice)

          38 - agastache Rose Mint

My thinking...  quite a few of the seeds I'm Winter Sowing are from self-seeding plants.  So, I don't even bother to sow them in the soil to the depth suggested, I just scatter over the surface.  If they grow as volunteers, they don't get sown at a certain depth by Mother Nature.  The soil may shift during winter, freezing and thawing, but it will do that in the jugs too.  Another skipped step to make it easier and faster for me!