Tuesday, March 21, 2017

"Jelly Bean" Blueberry and Some Other Neat Stuff!

As a co-worker said, I had a "busman's holiday" on my day off today!  I went to my work place and bought some fantastic plants. (My co-worker also said "kids" wouldn't know what a "busman's holiday" was... it's doing what you do for work on your time off.  Like a bus driver taking a trip by bus.)

BrazelBerries is a brand name of some varieties of berry.

They are dwarf varieties, perfect for containers, of blueberries, raspberries and blackberries.  Mine is called "Jelly Bean."  The snow and cold weather killed the French lavender that was growing in a ceramic pot on my deck, so I was looking for a replacement plant.  Jelly Bean seemed like the perfect thing!  I had some leftover acid lovers soil, which blueberries need. 

"Jelly Bean" blueberry
I also bought a beautiful edible I had never heard of before, a "Raspberry Dressing Rumex."  I had never even heard of "rumex" before!  It looks like a spinach/chard relative, and turns out it's a kind of dock.  Alright, what's dock?  I have a vague image of some kind of edible weed growing wild in ditches when I think of dock plants.  That image may come from a novel, or something else I read a long time ago.  At any rate, this plant is incredibly beautiful, and after seeing it last night at work I had to buy my very own today!  And it's a perennial!  I planted it in my new bargain ceramic pot.  It's named for its taste, similar to raspberry vinaigrette salad dressing. 

Last year's dormant perennials are on sale, and I was able to limit myself to only two.  One is a healing herb, Feverfew.

The other is Tickseed, or Coreopsis.  This variety has more lacy leaves than some.  Butterflies love Tickseed, so this is for the yet-to-be-built Butterfly Garden. 

I got another Tickseed too, with different leaves.

"Cruzin' Main St." and "Up Tick" are such silly names for plant varieties!

Since this year's plans include extending the front yard rock garden, I got a pretty pink Armeria, or Sea Thrift.  The color is a deep pink called "Morning Star." 

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Spring is Arriving in Spite of the Weather

Just some pretty photos taken this morning...

Flavor Supreme Plumcot - "Luther"
Frost Peach - "Frosty"  (I pruned incorrectly and will get very few peaches)
Some sort of plum that never amounts to anything, but its blossoms are pretty.
flowering quince
grape hyacinth in the herb garden

Friday, March 17, 2017

One Nice Day

Last Saturday was a nice day.  Warm and sunny.  I rushed right out to dig up grass (weeds), dig in soil conditioner, and build a raised area for the Stella cherry.

I got half done...

The clay soil was so heavy, it took ages to dig it out!  I used the concrete  blocks I had moved for the pea bed, and along with the last remaining blocks from the original pea bed I had just enough (20) to make this.  I added the soil from the old bed, but it's only half full right now.  Next "my weekend" (what I call my days off, since they aren't Saturday and Sunday, the traditional "weekend") I will move soil from an unused 4x8 cedar bed (it will be moved) and plant Stella.  She is still bare root, so I'm safe to wait.  I need to replant those strawberries in the block holes.

There are still bags of last year's Boysenberries in my freezer.  I used some to make syrup for whole wheat pancakes the other morning!  Just the berries and some sugar, simmered for a while to thicken a bit.  Once it cooled it was quite thick.  Not as thick as a jam, but nice as syrup.  I strained the seeds because the family doesn't like berry seeds!  I used the pulp on my pancakes. 

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Too Rainy to do Much...

It's been raining and raining, and even snowing, most every day.  The few sunny days are, predictably, not on my days off.   This is not the rainy part of Oregon!

So, my peas didn't get planted (I needed to move soil from bed to bed).  I'll just use that bed for green beans later on, if it ever dries out.

Stella the cherry is thankfully still dormant in her bare-root bag.  I have yet to even buy the blocks needed for the raised bed.  

I did get some more bargains though!

Raised bed corners...  

You screw 2x8 (I may need to use two 2x4s, I can't seem to find 2x8 in cedar) lumber into the corner brackets, and pop on the plastic top.  I did NOT pay the sticker price of $24.99 per box!  I was putting out new product at work and found these dusty old boxes behind other items, for $5.00 each!  The odd thing?  There are two in each box, which is totally ridiculous considering you are making a rectangle not an L!  You need two boxes, which would run $50.00!  No way would I pay that (I do not work for that merchant, we just happened to carry some of their items a few years ago).

The curved concrete edging for the butterfly garden...

I like the gray better than the red I thought I would have to get.  Actually, I thought I'd have to get straight edgers, as both Home Depot and Lowe's quit carrying the curved.  Low and behold, my own employer, at my own store, has the curved in both red and gray!  And the gray was on discount for .92 each!  I got enough for three 4' diameter circles.

Will I get either of these new projects done this spring?  If the ground dries, sure.  Otherwise, they'll keep.  All those butterfly garden seeds will keep as well, seeds don't expire the year they are dated.  Fewer may grow, but with hundreds in a pack, I'm not worried.

What keeps my hopes up that spring will eventually arrive...