Category Archives: Flowers

2013 – August Garden Log.

August was a month of harvesting for my little garden. We processed tomatoes, beans, tomatillos, cucumbers, potatoes, herb, did I mention tomatoes? Some stuff got away from us, but overall it was a good month. I did not get anything planted, but I did get my onions picked and set to dry into September. I did not get as many as I would have liked, but I did harvest 100! That is better than nothing I suppose but will not last very long in my kitchen.

I fear it will be another year without a winter garden. I took a chance and started my winter items outside in seed pots. But alas between my forgetfulness when it came to watering and the mission the aphids and caterpillars were on to eat the starts I lost everything.

I find that each year I start out with 12 months of motivation, but by the time June/July/August comes around I have used it all up on my spring and summer garden and the winter garden goes by the wayside. I did make some progress this year and have a good bit of carrots, beets, dill and basil coming out of the late summer garden, but I still have not cleared the hurdle of the 12 month garden. I do, however, have hope that I will get there. I have a plan for next year…will it work? Time will tell.

September holds the task of prolonging life of tomatoes, the peppers, the squashes, potatoes, eeking out the last of the tomatillos and cucumbers, cleaning up any late season berries and beans. Of cleaning up the summer debris, planning the 2014 garden, thinking about the garlic planting to come in October, the cover crops, the beds that will be bedded down with straw, the winterizing.

Happy (fall) gardening everyone!

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2013 – July Garden Log.

Speckled RomanAs summer rolls ever forward the garden has become more of a jungle than a manicured landscape, and that I like! It has been extremely dry here, we had 0.00 inches of rain in July, so in order to keep my jungle garden going I have been watering a lot. However, there are many benefits to the dry, hot weather we have been having. Generally, while I grow summer crops, they do not put out the yield that my fall, winter and spring gardens do because our weather is more conducive to cool weather crops. But in years like this I get bumper crops of tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, tomatillos, pumpkins (and other swash varieties) and so many more of those beautiful hot weather yummies.

I did get some new items planted this month though.

7/8 buckwheat, danvers 126 half long (Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds), honda di parigi (Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds), genovese basil (Seed Savers Exchange), touchstone gold beet (Wild Garden Seed), dill (saved seed from a friend).

7/15 Empress bush beans (Seed Savers Exchange)

We also planted various rounds of cilantro and holy basil.

Happy gardening!

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2013 – June Garden Log.

Hungarian Wax

6/9 Planted some more cilantro and also some genovese basil. The holy basil is not doing so well for me. I might sow some more and try again, but for today it was just the genovese that made it in the pot! We also planted more greens. The spinach (the monstruex de viroflay from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds), it has been the most fantastic spinach and I just want to keep eating it so we are planting more. You saw the leaves in last month’s garden update, as big as my hand! Some of the first sowings are starting to bolt. I am hoping to be able to gather seeds for next year. We are currently addicted to mizuna (Seed Savers Exchange) so our third sowing of that went in as well. And just for good measure we planted more leaf lettuce (Botanical Interests).

Last but surely not least we planted carrots. Now that the broccoli and most of the cauliflower is out of the garden I have space to get some root veggies in. Today we planted Danvers 126 half long (Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds) and honda di parigi (Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds), which are rainbow colored in a spectrum of yellow to red, with lots of orange in between. This is our first time planting this variety of carrot and we are excited for the results! I hope to get some beets in when I free up some space where the cabbages are, maybe a little later this month.

6/20 I started some Calabrese broccoli (Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds), snowball self-blanching cauliflower (Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds), early purple Vienna kohlrabi (Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds) and early Jersey Wakefield cabbage (Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds) in seed trays for planting in the garden when they are established.

6/24 started a week of harvest. We started with the garlic planted last fall. We ended up with 171 bulbs, some as big as my hand. I think we have the perfect amount to separate seed out and keep us sustained until next June/July (but only time will tell of course). Later in the week we processed all of the red Russian kale and also what was left of the spring sowing of early Jersey Wakefield cabbage.

Just a sampling of the nice variety of sizes we have this year in our bulbs.

Just a sampling of the nice variety of sizes we have this year in our bulbs.

The month got away with us, otherwise, and we did not get more herbs planted, but we are aiming for early July to do that.

Happy planting!

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2013 – May Garden Log.

My favorite view of the garden from our back patio. I love the combination of colors.

My favorite view of the garden from our back patio. I love the combination of colors.

I think I am trying to max out my media space with this post! There are a lot of photos, so prepare to see my weeds and also my questionable photo taking skills!!

5/7 With our weather having been about 20 degrees higher than normal for the last three weeks with no end in sight, I finally planted my tomatoes, peppers, squashes, pumpkins and cucumbers outside today. I had moved them outside about two weeks ago, hardening them off by bringing them in at night for the first week. But since then they have been living in their seed starts and were more than ready to move. Generally I would have repotted until later this month, even until early June. But I did not see the point this year. If the rains come back and the plants cannot handle it I will cloche and everyone will be fine. Such a strange spring.

I also direct planted Hidatsa Red Indian pole (dry) beans (Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds), Bolita pole (dry) beans (Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds), Fordhook zucchini (Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds), and Empress bush beans (Seed Savers Exchange).

5/28 The garden is growing well. The weather cooled back down a bit, but it was still too late for the broccoli. The cauliflower also suffered in the long run, producing small crowns that wanted to flower quickly. I got many of them in and riced to freeze before losing them. Everything planted this month is coming in nicely, with all direct sown beans and zucchinis showing their faces. I had wanted to direct sow carrots, but the rains returned with enough frequency to put that on hold until next month (I did not want to drag the plastic out again since the other plants are getting along just fine without it). All in all I have spent most of May picking cabbage worms, leaf miners and slugs out of the garden.

I do hope June proceeds with some regularity. It is getting harder and harder to tell the future when it comes to the weather!

In other news the garden is beautiful right now, take a walk with me through some of it!

cabbage

Cabbage! Most of the cabbages are having trouble with the weather, but this one is just so cute and perfect.

Fighting the earwig battle, but I think we are winning. Soapy water spray and lots of hands on management!

Fighting the earwig battle, but I think we are winning. Soapy water spray and lots of hands on management!

The blueberries are coming along, but the sporadic weather has not been terribly good for early fruit crops.

The blueberries are coming along, but the sporadic weather has not been terribly good for early fruit crops.

This is what's left of the kohlrabi. Another victim of strange weather.

This is what’s left of the kohlrabi. Another victim of strange weather.

Potatoes!

Potatoes and peas!

One of the garlic beds. Scapes are very far behind this year. I have been scoping other garlic beds around town and we are all in the same boat. I am hoping they arrive soon as I would like to make some fresh garlic scape pesto!

One of the garlic beds. Scapes are very far behind this year. I have been scoping other garlic beds around town and we are all in the same boat. I am hoping they arrive soon as I would like to make some fresh garlic scape pesto!

The heirloom spinach I planted this year is awesome and yes, as big as my hand. It has made some excellent wraps and sandwiches for this gluten free girl!

The heirloom spinach I planted this year is awesome and yes, as big as my hand. It has made some excellent wraps and sandwiches for this gluten free girl!

My volunteer avocado tree. It survived the winter and has even grown a new branch.

My volunteer avocado tree. It survived the winter and has even grown a new branch.

Some of our onions. Every year I try something new and every year I don't do so well. They are looking good and strong, so I am hopeful we will get a harvest!

Some of our onions. Every year I try something new and every year I don’t do so well. They are looking good and strong, so I am hopeful we will get a harvest!

This was my first year growing flowers from seed. This zinnia is the only one that made it, but it has a lot of buds on it!

This was my first year growing flowers from seed. This zinnia is the only one that made it, but it has a lot of buds on it!

I planted a lot of poppy seeds and lots of plants made it. See all those buds! I think you might be seeing blooms in the June Garden Update.

I planted a lot of poppy seeds and lots of plants made it. See all those buds! I think you might be seeing blooms in the June Garden Update.

One obligatory hop photo. This is one of our Mount Hood hops. It is prolific this year and probably a month ahead of schedule. This photo makes me Hop Monster!!!

One obligatory hop photo. This is one of our Mount Hood hops. It is prolific this year and probably a month ahead of schedule. This photo makes me Hop Monster!!!

Happy Gardening!

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2013 – April Garden Log.

April Garden Log 2013

I was looking back over the plantings from this year. I seemed to have overlooked many of the greens we have already sown. We have been eating European mesclun for three months now from containers, but this month I actually got around to planting it outside.

4/3 Planted Cascadia snap peas started in containers 3/4, direct sowed radish saxa II (Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds), European mesclun (Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds), monstrueux de viroflay spinach (Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds), mizuna (Seed Savers Exchange), and lettuce leaf salad bowl blend (Botanical Interest) outside undercover. Planted seedlings from March (3/10), except poppies and spices, outside under cover.

4/14 I have been removing and replacing plastic as directed by the weather. We have had some pretty torrential downpours and heavy hail, but in between we have some absolutely gorgeous sun. Today I planted the onion starts I has sown on 2/24. I did one dedicated onion bed and then lined several other beds with onions. Onions are great because they can be planted with any other veggies and take up very little space. They also have the ability to deter pests.

4/16 Planted 24 hills of potatoes (all organic from the farm store): 5 red thumb fingerling, 6 each German butterball and cal white, 7 caribe. I also planted many more of my summer vegetables. Cucumbers: boston pickling (Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds), Mexican sour gherkin (Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds), delicatesse (Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds), lemon cucumber (Seeds of Change), tendergreen (saved seed received in trade). Tomatillo: verde (Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds). Squash: big Max pumpkin (Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds), New England sugar pie (Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds), butternut – Waltham (Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds), bush buttercup (Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds), table queen (Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds), loofa sponge (saved seeds from Thyme Square Gardens).

4/17 Planted poppies outside.

4/20 Today I convinced the hub to make a new box to put around the raspberries. When we planted them about 5 years ago we did it on a hill…against an old rotten fence. Well we removed the fence and realized that we needed to put in some form of retaining wall so that all that dirt that had been pushed up against the rotten fence did not spill onto the neighbors much newer fence. The end result was a four sided box that also leveled the watering surface. Very nice!

4/24 Planted annual dahlia seeds.

4/25 Transplanted holy basil, dill and zinnia starts. The cumin did not get transplanted, but it needs to be. There were no black sesames that took.

Other garden updates: the kale, carrots and beets that I direct sowed outside in February are doing well. The peas a chugging along though I think they wish it was a little cooler. Our weather has been over 60 and even into the 80s, with the exception of two days, for the last 12 days with no end in sight. The news is reporting that our temps are reminiscent of the last drought years. Boo.  All that said the broccoli is flowering before it’s fully formed so I have been forced to pick it. The cauliflower and kale though seems to be doing well! The chard, cabbage, spinach and onion starts are all hanging in there as well. I am getting ready to plant tomato, pepper and squash starts (since it is not supposed to get to terribly cold again) and will likely get some beans and zucchini going outside in the next few days.

Happy gardening!

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A-Photo-A-Day: A Friend.

Symbiotic Love!

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Out and About.

Well, we are off on vacation this week. The cabin we are staying in does not have internet so I will not be sharing our adventures with you in real-time. Don’t fret. I will have a series of posts chronicling the best of the best scenes and foods for you when I return. Until then my faithful readers, enjoy life! I know I will.

Here is a pretty for you to gaze at for a while:

If my flowers were candy, this would be bubble gum!

Love!

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A-Photo-A-Day: Poppy Love.

This most amazing poppy is part of my wildflower garden. I am in love with this!

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July {August} Garden Update.

I started this post at the end of June. It is now the end of July and will August before I complete this, so my July Garden Update is now the July/August version. The garden has been producing very well since about April. We have finally finished off our turnips, kohlrabis, and broccolis. I have harvested the first round of peas and many of the Rocky Hybrid cucumbers. We have noshed beets and carrots and are waiting on the very slow bean crop. We are devouring blueberries and raspberries (the strawberries all fell victim to the yard dogs). I have even harvested my first few tomatoes and zucchinis.

We have pumpkins, delicata squash, corn, pole beans, tomatillos, half a dozen hot pepper varieties, lemon cucumbers, onions, hops and potatoes on the very near horizon. And we have been in full-blown planting mode for two months now to get our fall and over winter crops in. We have seeded storage cabbage, broccoli, and carrots. We put in a new crop of turnips and we got the new Red Russian kale crop planted. I have been edging all of the beds with onions and I am researching ground storage options for the potatoes so we don’t have to harvest them all in the fall.

It has been a busy summer. Even with all of this activity I feel like we are somehow behind! There are still little black spots in the soil that could be beets or spinach. I feel like I could do more, even with all I have done! It is my perpetual fret. We do, though, have enough to eat! The one thing I did not get to delve into this year that I really wanted to explore was more of the whole grains. We have quinoa that will be ready to harvest in September, but I had high hopes of planting a field of wheat. Maybe I still will. I will keep you posted if that one happens!

In any case, ignore my fretting and enjoy the most recent slide show of the yardin (ignoring any gloomy skies you might see).

Our favorite volunteer!

The hop strobles are starting!

The elephant garlic as a friend!

Volunteer melon plants in the corn bed!

Brilliant rainbow quinoa.

Love!

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May Gardens and Yard Dogs.

Spring has finally sprung in the garden. The beds are in full growth, even the crimson clover finally bloomed bright red flowers and couple of yard dogs! All the small bits from earlier in the year have sprung to life to feed us! There are really only a few truly amazing wonders in this world and the life in the garden is one of them for me.

Enjoy a walk through my yarden as the hubs has lovingly named it! Please excuse and ignore the cat netting you will see….they just won’t stop using the garden as a litter box, so I have netted all of the beds.

Planted last October.

Everything is better with yard dogs! Best helpies around.

Pumpkin, Quinoa, Bok Choi, Radiccio, Broccoli, Butterhead Lettuce, Romaine, Tat Soi.

Peas, Cilantro, Radishes, Beets, Carrots.

Tomatoes, Pumpkin, Delicata Squash, Overwintered Garlic and Elephant Garlic.

Potatoes, Kohlrabi, Broccoli.

Almost ready!

Cabbage.

Swimming in lettuce and salad greens!!!

Potatoes.

Love!

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