Sunday, February 21, 2010

Veggie Garden Start

It's been so beautiful here for the past week; sunny and warm! I found myself browsing the seed selection at my local store, and yes, I even bought some. Tom Thumb lettuce, Regal Hybrid spinach, and Nelson Hybrid carrots, all from Territorial Seed Company which sells seeds and plants that do well here in the Pacific Northwest.

After that, I just had to visit my garden and see how it's been doing all winter. I cleared out some dried up vines from peas, tomatos, and some marigold stems, and did a bit of weeding. If I'd started earlier in the day I might have just planted a few of the seeds just to see how they'd grow! But, it was late and the sun was beginning to set, so I lingered to enjoy the last rays of sun and warmth, and then headed home.

Spring is not far away!!!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Northwest Flower & Garden Show

Taking place through this weekend, in Seattle, and unfortunately I won't be there! Here's the website for the show: for more information.

Their "Garden Tip of the Week" is to "Build a worm bin for your kitchen!" Such excitement about worms--in the house, no less! I've considered it but somehow, even in winter when a trip to the outdoor composter is something I put off longer than I should, a box of wriggling worms under my sink doesn't have a lot of appeal. However, my cats might find it quite a wonderful new toy--box of live, wriggling stringy things that can provide endless fun. No, think I'll skip it for now.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Fossil Flowers and Op-Art Fish

The Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture blog recently posted some of their curators' favorite acquisitions over the past year. Favorites included a collection of Washington spiders (35,000 of them!), an incredible op-art looking fish, called a Psychedelic Frogfish (which also made Time's top 10 as number 6: "The World's Weirdest Fish." Also on the Burke curators list (listed in Part 2) were a Brontothere skull, and my favorites (along with the fish) a 15 million-year-old fossil seastar from the Olympic National Park, and some 50 million-year old fossil flowers from British Columbia.

I was happy to see that they posted a photo of the cases containing the spider specimens rather than the actual arachnids, but I was not too happy to see the hyena skin (with a tag through its eye). To see the fish minus spider and dead hyena pics, check out the Time Magazine article--it shows quite a dramatic shot of the fish.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Of course you knew there would be photos...

And here they are.

Cleaning up at the end of the season

There's still plenty of work to do before the garden is ready for winter, but I've cleared off all the plants that were done for the season. Those that are left are looking a bit sad; even the scarecrows are ready for a rest!

There was a red-winged blackbird perched on a dried up sunflower when I first arrived, but it quickly took flight, leaving me to my solitary labors. A few hardy survivors continue on, including some sugar snap peas, and edible chrysanthemums I planted just to try. The peas are delicious but too few :-( to make a good dinner. As for the chrysanthemums, I prefer their appearance to their taste.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Tomatoes, potatoes, and miscellaneous August garden views

In other words, more veggie garden photos.

First tomatoes and more

Last weekend I spent several hours doing some serious work in the garden, ripping out weeds and too many plants that had gone to seed. I'm saving some of the seeds and hope to plant them next year. Friday was the heavy work day, Saturday I planted more seeds for a late harvest of peas, lettuce, carrots, and cauliflower. I don't really know whether there's enough time left for any of these veggies to grow before winter sets in but this is my year to experiment.

The yellow pear tomatoes and the mystery small red tomatoes (cherry/sun gold/sweet 100?) are doing quite well. Found more blue potatoes when I went to plant the carrot seeds. Today's lunch was leftover eggplant Parmesan I made with the funny little white eggplants a local college agriculture program donated to the garden.

Surprisingly, Saturday was a very quiet day at the garden! Friday there were many people there. Workers at the adjacent farm, families with children touring the garden and harvesting from their family plots, and solitary gardeners like me catching up on the weeding and harvesting that was too hot to do earlier made it a lively place. But Saturday there were very few people there, and after watering the garden, I sat and enjoyed the relative solitude. Hummingbirds zoomed across the gardens in what looked like a game of tag; one even perched on one of my tomato cages, but not long enough for me to get out the camera and take a photo. Finches were busy harvesting sunflower seeds and racing around, chattering away at one another. Corn stalk leaves rustled with the wind. It all reminded me of why I like gardening; besides the satisfaction of helping things grow and getting delicious, fresh food in exchange for a little work, it provides a space to connect with the natural world, and refreshes the spirit.