a walk in the park

So far this summer the weather in Seattle has been ridonculous – barely a rainy day in sight. It’s a little spooky, actually. Despite this, my kids have spent an insane amount of time in front of a screen of some sort. Yesterday, I’d had enough.

I laid down the law – it was Family Day and WE WERE LEAVING THE HOUSE. The Geek and Boy Child were on board with this plan, the Girl Child not so much. At all. Sadly, she chose to skip the Family Day at the expense of seeing her friends this week.

The original plan was to head to the Sculpture Park near Seattle Center, but given that this weekend was Bite of Seattle and the Center would therefore be crazy with people, we opted for the trails and views at Discovery Park in Magnolia instead. It’s one of those local places we don’t often think of going to – it’s been years in fact since our last visit. And we’ve never taken the trail down to the beach.

This is the view from the top, overlooking Puget Sound for you non-locals.

hilltop

hilltop 2

If you disregard the panting words of the woman returning from the beach who claims there are 250 stairs to the bottom and coerce your reluctant family to give it a shot, you also get to see this.

trail

I don’t think there were actually 250 stairs. Maybe 50, but it was nearly a mile long. And it was cool traipsing through the forested trails, expecting to reach the Shire around the very next bend.

At the bottom, your reward is this. This is the beach looking toward Golden Gardens and Shilshole Marina.

beachside

And this way looks toward Alki/West Seattle.

beachside2

For the life of him, Jack could not understand WHY there was all this glorious water that he was not allowed to go in (Seattle parks rule: No dogs on beaches.) We did cheat a little, but considering all the off-leash fully wet dogs we saw, we didn’t feel too bad.

jackbeach

Ack! Too far! Soaking wet shoe!jackbeach2

Also at the end of this spit is a wee, tiny lighthouse. No idea if it is still in use, but I do love me a lighthouse.

lighthouse

There is still stuff inside, so maybe they use it? No Hobbitses though.

innerlighthouse

It was a lovely walk with fantastic views, marred only by the absence of my favorite 15-year-old girl. The boys did manage to crack themselves up with this pose.

keepoff

It sure was easier back in these days. I’m hoping she realizes family time isn’t so bad before it’s too late. All that Gossip Girl and Kardashians  is gonna get pretty old pretty soon, right?

bw kids

information overload

Thank god for the interweb.  I say that almost daily, for it’s amazing what you can find there.   For a beginning gardener, it’s a miracle sent from heaven.  What on earth did people DO before?  Lots of library books and the occasional class, I guess and if you were lucky, a friend with a green thumb.  I’m sure I’ve barely scratched the surface, but I already have a few favorite sites.

As mentioned previously, Annie’s Annuals is like flower porn. Lots of rare, hard-to-find things (though, to be honest, I’m so new I probably wouldn’t know if it was rare or not).  I do know they have lots of things I haven’t seen locally.  My order comes in a couple weeks, so I can’t vouch yet for the quality, but the prices are excellent and their reputation is stellar.

For lots of gardening (and a ton other stuff) it’s hard to beat Sunset magazine’s site.  There’s a calendar for what to do in the garden each month, plant finder, great articles and inspiration, landscape plans, all specific to our area.

We’re also lucky to have Seattle Tilth, which, according to their website is ” a nationally recognized non-profit educational organization dedicated to inspiring and educating people to garden organically and conserve natural resources.”  They offer classes and fabulous plant sales, and their site is full of local resources for organic gardeners.  The Lovely Miss Z and I are going Friday to the Early Edible special Friday night sale.

Given that our veggie gardening method of choice is Square Foot Gardening, I’m also a big fan of My Square Foot Garden.  You can sign up for your zone, and they will send you weekly emails listing what can be planted during that particular week.  There’s also a photo gallery, veggie reference guide, and a TON of other information.

Another local resource is Diggin Food, a blog by a Seattle gardener, Willi Galloway, who mixes in recipes with what’s going on in her garden.  She’s a gardening whiz, being a Master Gardener and expert for NPR and eHow.com, as well as the West coast editor of Organic Gardening magazine – she knows her stuff!

And though I haven’t yet fully checked it out, The Lovely Miss Z turned me onto You Grow Girl, which looks to be chock-full of awesomeness.

A person really could fry their brain just by looking at all the information just in these sites, let alone the rest of the interweb.  Let me know if you have any go-to gardening sites!

we’re go for launch!

Hello? Is this thing on?  Can you hear me now?  I imagine the learning curve on this whole blogging thing is quite severe, so bear with me.  I am new.

My vision for this beast is an outlet, record keeper, interactive space for all the things I usually pack around in my head. The load is getting heavy.  Mainly, yard/gardening, anything involving fabric, design, a bit of cooking, maybe some kids/daily survival thrown in.  My niece is going off to college in the fall, and my mom keeps saying how fast they grow. It’s true, for darn near everything. I’m beginning to be afraid of forgetting the stuff I want, and need, to remember.  So here it will be.

Onward!

new garden babies

Thanks to Willi from Diggin Food,  I stumbled upon this strawberry plant, and Annie’s Annuals.  Which I have to say is pretty frakking amazing, when it comes to pure floral overload.  Consider yourself warned, if you like plants at all, when you open that link, you will lose a good 30 minutes of your life, not to mention be many dollars poorer.   But SO much richer in the garden!  These babies will be coming to me in late March.

As usual, I have no real idea where I will put them. I just LIKE them.  And luckily my yard is large enough to accommodate such lack of planning.

Fragaria vesca ‘Golden Alexandria

Agrostemma githago ‘Ocean Pearls’


Papaver ‘Pink Heirloom’ “Pink Heirloom Poppy”

Claytonia sibirica “Candyflower”

Delphinium elatum ‘Double Innocence’


Hesperis matronalis ‘White’ “White Sweet Rocket”

Aquilegia caerulea ‘Krystal’