Monday, February 24, 2020

Weekend Work and Weekend Fun

The nights are still cold (below freezing), but the days are getting to 60, which feels quite warm!  I've unpacked the butterfly chair covers and have been sitting on the deck.  Until the sun goes behind the big cedar, then it's too cold!  

The flowering quince gives me hope it will be an early spring, just like our own Stumptown Fil (Oregon Zoo beaver, Filbert) forecast!

Does anyone get tired of seeing the crocus?  Not me!

It's hard to believe this quartet aren't photoshopped!  They came up through the Hot & Spicy oregano.

 Welsh onions are back.  I originally planted seeds to grow for the flowers, but moved the plants into a bed.  I clipped a few leaves for green onion use.  They're in a bed where onions can be companion plants for my spring plans.  Good think, since not all vegetables like onions near them!

 As anyone who's read this blog for a while knows, I have rocks.  I started out with a lot of rocks.  I still have a lot of rocks even after using a lot of rocks. I keep finding more rock.  No joke. 

I pruned back the roses near the driveway (they are really just gone to wild canes, but they are pretty), and I knew there were rocks along the area.  I didn't realize just how many, and how deep they go. Yes, deep.  Moving some uncovered another layer and prying those out, yet another.  So, I took quite a few, and as you can see, I still have a lot of rocks.  The neighbor doesn't want them, he has rocks too!  The original owner of my house got the rocks, and their daughter used to live next door, so she got rocks too.   (You haven't even seed the other side of the house, it's solid rocks, but flatter ones.) 

 I took quite a few!

I'm extending the Toss Garden path.

 My son is moving most of his stuff out of the shed, so I'm taking it over!  I moved my terra-cotta pots in yesterday.  I buy them at thrift stores and garage sales whenever I see them for a good price.  Once Goodwill asked $4.99 for a small plain one!  I didn't get that!

 One of my favorite weeds is in bloom, the red deadnettle!  It's a mint family relative, which you can see by the flowers and the fact it has square stems.

My son helped me move the Jelly Bean blueberry (a compact variety) from its pot to a bed where the Draper blueberry is planted.  It didn't seem to do well last year, do now it's got more room.  Plus, I have a large empty pot to fill!

I planted blazing star bulbs in the front yard. The directions said to plant with the pointy side up, but they were round!  In the photo below it shows growth, which I planted "up." 

The anemone blanda bulbs are sure odd! 

More bloomers are the Tete-a-Tete daffodils.   Here they are displayed in a Shofu lusterware vase.

My kitchen counter seeds are germinating.  First came the basils, now the tomatoes are up.  Zaatar appeared yesterday, and the beginnings of the peppers are peeping up.

 I thought there'd be no Mashenka, but there she was this morning! 


 Two Goodwill finds, plant related:

I snapped off the bottom hooks, and am hanging this on the fence as a potted plant stand.  I might spray paint the metal a bright color.  

 Gordons Ceramics mid-century planter. Gordons Ceramics was a California pottery.  I'm not a fan of baby pink, but I am a fan of California mid-century pottery in this matte finish.  I love the feel of it!  This planter is in absolutely perfect shape!  I don't use most of my collection of planters as planters.  I do have a succulent in a McCoy, but the rest are on display.  I guess a lot of that is my lack of sun at my windows.  Unfortunately, I have a very dark house. 

Last, just something funny.  My son was eating a donut in the car when we stopped at Goodwill this morning.  I loved how he just stuck it on his coffee straw to save it!

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Pea Planting Time!

Today was a beautiful sunny day, perfect for pea planting!

My peas this year are Sugar Snap peas from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds (  I haven't bought their peas before, but the price was comparable to what I've paid before, plus they offer free shipping to the US, Mexico, and Canada!  Oh, they also throw in a packet of free surprise seeds!  For my pea order the purple basil was the free gift.

(As you can see, I bought some interesting other things.  Wormwood is for April's Blogging from A-Z Challenge W day!  Z will do double duty for Z day, and because I wanted to grow it anyway.  Covent Garden baby's breath is my favorite, it's not fussy and fluffy like the florist kind.)

Previously I'd bought some new legume inoculant.  It came with instructions, and for years I've been doing it wrong!  Not when it came to dusting the peas in it, but storing the inoculent itself.  It has an expiration date!  My new packet expires at the end of this year!  More importantly, I guess, it is supposed to be kept cool, like in the refrigerator cool!  It's a good think I ran out, because I'd had the same package for years, and it was never cool!  

What is legume inoculant?  It's a powder containing millions of nitrogen fixing bacteria (Rhizobium leguminosarum)!  It helps convert nitrogen in the air into a form the plant can use.  Ever wonder about those lumps on pea roots when you pull the plants up?  Those are "nitrogen nodules," and it's best for your soil to leave them be!  Don't pull out your pea plants at the end of the season, or at least, cut them down to soil level, leaving the roots.  If need be, plant your next crop between them.

So, I followed the instructions, which had me wet the peas (not soak like I'd previously been doing) and pat them dry.  The inoculant even came with several zipper bags, so I put a little inoculant in a bag with the seeds and shook it.  It was much less messy than in other years!

I wore gloves this year because it's messy, the ground was cold (in the shade it was still frosted), and because I place the peas in the bed and press them in with my finger!  

I did not water them in, the soil was damp enough.  In fact, that top layer over the leaves was a bag of raised bed soil from Lowe's at 1/2 off (broken bag) I spread out first.  The leaves aren't broken down yet, but they weren't last year either at pea planting time. By the time the peas were finished though, you couldn't see any identifiable leaf parts!

Boo "help" by nagging with his tennis ball.  Then, when too hot, moving into not just the shade, but the muddiest spot in the yard to sit!  I hate to face the facts, Boo's getting slower and older.  He'll be 10 in June.  He also has a growth in one lung that, when enlarged, presses on this trachea.  He's nearly cough free right now. He has medication to shrink it if the cough gets as bad as it was.  The vets aren't sure what it is, the ER vet didn't think it looked like an abscess (on x-ray), but his cough completely stopped with antibiotics.  It also shrinks with steroids.  

As for now, he's a happy Boo, and runs and fetches without any troubles other than chubbiness and age!  I have the same problem!

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - February 2020

February is dead winter, but the garden is saying "Spring is here!"  Or, maybe, "Spring is near!"

Here are today's blooms in my Southern Oregon zone 8b.  Comparing this Bloggers' Day to 2019, I see it's nearly identical blooms!

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day is a monthly thing brought to us by Carol at
Thanks, Carol!

"Blue Boy" rosemary

 prostrate rosemary
(with its "new" from Goodwill garden marker)

 Johnny Jump-up 
(seeds planted months ago to be "winter" bloomers, but this is the first flower)

mini daffodils
(NOT "Original Poet's" which is what I bought and planted in this spot!)

(in the background are new striped squill from Walmart I planted yesterday.  Not fully open, so am not counting them as blooms today.)  I am disappointed that my crocus sierberi "Firefly" isn't blooming.  It's one of the earliest crocus, mine are usually here in January.  Unless something changes in the next few weeks, many of my crocus disappeared over the last year.  

 grape hyacinths
(I think these are open enough to count!)

 wild violets

 creeping wallflower "Orange Flame"

 knautia macedonica "Red Knight"
(It's been blooming some ALL winter!)

(I cut all the flowering stems off this not long ago because of the cold and it was looking rather bedraggled.  They are coming back quickly.  I discovered I could remove the rosettes and root them in pots of soil!  Last month the flowers were mostly pink, this month they're yellow.)

(Another one that doesn't know the meaning of annual, or cold weather.  It's smaller than the summer alyssum, but still blooming.)

 Beautiful Weeds

red deadnettle
(One of my favorite flowers! Mint family plants always have beautiful blooms.)

Persian, or winter speedwell 
(The far back grass area is full of it!  I'm glad it's too wet to mow, the plants themselves are lovely too.)

Periwinkle or Vinca Minor 
(The only time of year my vinca looks good.  It was planted years ago in an area with much too much sun.)

(This variety is in the front yard, nearly hidden by a rockrose that grew up around them.  I really need to mark where they are and dig them up when they die back.  I say that every year!)


And, as last month, some "flowers" that are not really flowers, but I will include them because they are putting out their fruiting bodies, which is what flowers are.


 Here's to February, and may March hold many more blooms!

Friday, February 14, 2020

Mid-February Already - More New Plants and "New" Miscellaneous!

The past couple of days have been so nice and sunny, and even "warm," if lower and mid 50s can be "warm."  It's strange how we get used to changes in temperatures.  Before moving here I thought 50 degrees was SO COLD!  Now, I take off my jacket!  

It was bring out a chair and sit on the deck in the sun "warm" today!
Before that I planted my latest Walmart purchases.

They had just put out their $1.00 pots of bulbs.  Last year the pots were tiny round ones, this year they were at least twice as big rectangular pots.  The bulbs seemed happier.  I was!

I got just three (yesterday, not for all season, I'll be back!) two puschkinia (white striped squill) and one chionodoxa (Glory of the Snow), something I'd never heard of before. Each $1.00 pot had four bulbs!  The squill are almost blooming already.  Sure, they're little, but they'll be back for years!  

I found out the Glory of the Snow likes it a bit cooler or shadier than the squill, but I put them in the herb garden anyway.  They are early bloomers, so will be done by the time the heat of the summer gets on them.  

Walmart also has grape hyacinths (don't need them), hyacinths (all three I got there last year are up and forming buds!), tulips (I don't like them), daffodils (got them)... I think something else.  I'll have to look soon.  Last year all that were left by the time I discovered them were hyacinths and grape hyacinths.  

I also couldn't resist more of the two pack for $3.00 daylilies!  More Grape Magic, and some Stella d'Oro, the mainstay of landscapes around the country!  I'm trying to fill in the front yard with cheap, easy to grow perennials to keep the neighbor cats at bay. 

I am trying to germinate (Wintersown) some blazing star, but I also got this box from Winco for $2.98.  It's one of the recommended pollinator plant.  I'm putting them in the front yard too.

More front yard plants are some of my own divisions and rootings.
These are just two, a yarrow and a lance-leaf coreopsis.  I have several other perennial coreopsis, and some penstemon.  I already transplanted some iris from their temporary beds to out front.  The gaura continues to spread, so that will help fill in too.   

My "new" miscellaneous are thrift store finds that have nothing to do with gardening!  Although you could use these first in a garden, just not mine.  Plus it's actually a proven scientific fact, smoking harms tomato plants!  So don't.  For your garden and for you.

Mid-century ashtrays.  I think.  I was told they look like flames, so that convinced me further they are.  Really pretty finish on them.  I will be selling them, I only got them because they looked interesting, and worth more than the 89 cents each I paid!

Also worth more than I paid, but I am keeping him, is this little German bisque-ware spitz. 
Marked "Germany Sp787" and "I."  He is unchipped, uncracked, and has much more original paint that any others I've seen online.  They are sold as "white," they've lost so much color!  I only paid $1.00 for him!  I call him "Biscuit" for being bisque, or "Finn," because he looks like a Finnish spitz.