better late than never

Ah, my poppets, I have been a bit out of pocket the last week, fighting some bug.  Got some good drugs now so I’m on the mend.  In between my getting sick and well, it seems spring has finally arrived in these parts!  So half the peas got their trellis today and the strawberries now live in their own pot. The 3-foot-tall grass got mowed. And then we have this…

almost-popped poppy

soon-to-be blueberries

spirea

euphorbia

getting-ready-to-bloom prehistoric 20 foot tall rhodie tree

forget-me-not, a weed I don't mind

wish this was scratch and sniff

viburnum

my camera couldn't handle the RED of this!

favorite of this batch

Today’s 70 degrees just leaves us wanting more and dreaming of summer nights and happy hour…Seattle in the summer is the best!

spring is springing (nearly)

Still a few weeks away from official Spring, but out in my hot mess of a yard, I see evidence of its imminent arrival.  There is much work to be done, for sure.  Don’t even get me started on the back yard – “hot mess” is generous – but we do have plans for it.  Sort of. Until spring (and sun!) actually arrive, these will have to tide me over.

Crocus

Crandall Black Currant - bought last year at Tilth's Early Edible Sale

Patty's Plum poppy - from Annie's Annuals last year - and check out my phat labels!

Hyacinth

Lady bird yellow poppy - not sure this bloomed last year so I'm keeping an eye on it

Raspberry! I actually got fruit off these last year! From Swansons bare root sale

I can’t WAIT for it to warm up and dry out so we can get going on cleaning up, transplanting and putting new things in the ground.  BIG plans for the backyard and some rearranging in the front too.  Time to show no mercy!

Tilth!

After months of anticipation, The Lovely Miss Z got the party started with this sweet gift:

And we popped a bottle of Prosecco and plopped down OUTSIDE ON MARCH 19TH with a lovely spread of meats and cheeses and bread while we contemplated our soon-to-be-loot (and the bottom of said Prosecco bottle – tasty stuff, and you can’t save it, you know).

And then we headed out!  A gorgeous day for the sale it was, too.  This is the sight that greeted us:

Yes, that is a line of people!  All of whom paid $25 each to come the night BEFORE the sale to avoid the crowds and get primo plant selection.  Once inside we were greeted by rows of baby veggies and herbs and flowers and bamboo and trees and berries – OH MY!  There might have been a little squealing going on at this point.

And then the booty-collecting began!  Lots of lettuces, tarragon, a fig tree, some bamboo, pansies, calendula, bachelor buttons, a random cauliflower, some beets AND a currant plant!

So today the real fun starts – the planting!  Weather could not be better – high 60’s and sunny! But first, a little birthday cake baking…

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!

greenery

It’s been unseasonably warm this winter/early spring, which means unusual progress has already been made in the yard.  The Geek built these lovely raised beds, so we could attempt our first vegetables.

We’ve planted some peas, poppies, and sunflower seeds, but no seedings yet.  At the nursery last week, I couldn’t pass by some strawberry and brussels sprouts starts!  The brussels sprouts spent a few days under plastic water bottle cloches when the weather was rainy and windy.  They seemed to like it!


In raspberry news, the sticks are beginning to come to life – it was looking a little grim there for awhile.

Thanks to the Artist, I discovered one of my favorite plants – Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick.  I hunted for them last spring, only to find they are usually pretty expensive.  Luckily I happened upon two at Home Depot, of all places, for $30 each!  A screaming deal!  Soon they will also sport some gnarly green leaves.

Lots more fun green and colorful stuff to come next Friday, when the Lovely Miss Z and I hit Seattle Tilth’s Early Edible Sale.  On the list, a fig tree! Maybe some bamboo and beets.

Off to cook up some rosemary pork pasta AND try out the Nutella cheesecake!

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’