Archive for Garden

The Garden – Things are Growing!

Its gardening time…FINALLY! We had such beautiful weather a few weeks back that I was chomping at the bit to get everything planted. This is what the garden looked like a few weeks ago…(that green patch in the middle is Sweet William, a flower).

And this is what it looks like now…

What a difference a few weeks make.  I can hardly wait to see what its going to look like a month from now!

Here’s what’s growing:

I’m growing lots and lots of beets this year.  I’ve been on this beet kick lately and can’t get enough of them.  Suzanne’s neighbor, Bernie the Saint, makes the most delicious canned beets in the universe, and being the saint that she is, she gave Suzanne her recipe. I’ve never canned beets before, and I think I’m more excited about the beets maturing than anything else in the garden! 
I harvested a small bowl of spinach the other night to throw into our green salad.  Its the first thing that we’ve eaten out of the garden so far.  I planted another whole row last weekend.
This is either collard greens or kale
Spring mix lettuce
Pea pods
I’ve never grown tomatillos before.  Actually, I’ve never done anything with a tomatillo, but my goal is to make some salsa verde.
Green beans
I actually don’t really even care for fresh green beans too much, but I love the height and depth they add to the garden when the vines grow up the poles and fill in the teepee.  I might try making some canned dilly beans…we’ll see.

Red potatoes in the potato tower
The tower on the right is the red potatoes,
 the one on the left is Yukon Gold

Last year I didn’t get one stinkin’ potato out of my potato towers, but I think its because I used regular store bought potatoes that were sprouting.  This year I bought seed potatoes, and just to be safe, I planted some in the garden as well.  The idea behind the potato towers is the same as the old tire concept that my parents used to do, where you start off planting potatoes in the lower portion, then as they grow, keep covering them up with dirt and adding another tire, eventually all the way to the top. Apparently, it never occurred to anyone that there would be some nasty chemicals leeching out of those tires and into the dirt. These towers are made with wire fencing, straw from the chicken coop, and potting soil.


Aw, my beloved tomatoes! The whole reason why I started gardening in the first place. Home grown tomatoes are like no tomato you’ve ever tasted.  And when the little cherry tomatoes are ripe and still warm from the sun….heaven! I planted a Better Boy, Sweet 100’s, a Roma, an Heirloom and I still have to plant the Early Girl.  I’m growing my tomatoes in pots this year in the hopes of avoiding black spot/blight/whatever its called. I heard the bacteria/disease can live in the soil and my tomatoes got it last year.  So I put fresh potting soil into their pots and am hoping for the best.

What isn’t pictured, but is growing in the garden is:  carrots, flowering sweet peas (I love mixing in flowers with the veggies), cabbage, cilantro (that is coming up all over the place, all by itself from the seeds from last year’s plants – I love that!), red and green peppers (to make my mom’s famous pepper jelly), jalapenos, cucumbers, romaine lettuce, iceburg lettuce, zinnias, pumpkins and rhubarb.  I also have a flat of basil that is growing in the house.


Does anyone know what this plant is? It has a bamboo like look and grows like a giant magic bean stalk. I pull it up all the time.  Please take my advice and put weed block down before you make your garden beds.  I have no idea why we didn’t and I’m considering at the end of this growing season emptying out at least the one bed that is rampant with it, putting down weed block and refilling it.

How is your garden growing? Do you grow in raised beds, directly in the ground or in pots on the patio?

I’ll keep you posted on my progress.  Happy Gardening!


My yummy raspberries

If you’ve ever wanted to grow berries in your yard, try raspberries. Especially here in the NW. They grow so well. Mine are over 7 feet tall and loaded with berries. They spread like weeds so you really have to cut them back after they are done. Luckily my neighbor doesn’t mind them growing under the fence in to her yard and has her side all neatly tied up. Mine are crazy and form a giant wall of berries. I love them. If you want starts, let me know. I have a ton.

Posted by Picasa


My Garden Makes Me Happy

Even though summer was slow to start, my garden loved the cooler weather.  I have two raised beds, as you can see. I also like to mix in flowers with the veggies. There’s just something about gardening that feels like a simpler time.  I would have loved to live in pioneer times (without washing laundry by hand, and sewing everything by hand, and killing and plucking the chickens, and birthing with no drugs, and no refrigeration or electricity, and poor hygiene – but other than that I’m all for it).

Here’s some of the things I have growing….

Sweet William and Kale
Green Peppers
Early Girl Tomatoes  

A few things I’ve never grown before…..

Scarlet Runner Beans

There’s also carrots in there, and potatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, mini pumpkins, two other kinds of tomatoes and spinach.  During the fall and the winter, we dump all the “goodies” from the chicken coop into the garden and till it all under in the spring. My garden makes me happy and I LOVE it!.

Old Pot – New Pot

No, I’m not talking about weed, although there were some weeds involved.  When we moved into this house, there was an old whiskey barrel planter here.  We have lived here for 18 years, and who knows how long it was here before that. 

We had it sitting on top of an old stump.  Between the stump, the pot and 18 years, everything has decayed and rotted. When we moved the pot off of the stump, the stump totally disintegrated and termites started coming out. Ew! And then to make it even more exciting, bees started coming out of the side of the pot!


So, I very gingerly removed the lilies, the only thing out of the pot I wanted to save. I’m sure they are going to pout for a while having been transplanted in the middle of growing season. The slugs were getting them anyway, so they’re better off in their new home.

Fresh dirt, a shot of Miracle Grow.  You’re welcome, lilies!.

Farmers Markets

Local Farmers Markets are so much fun…Suzanne and I went to the Burien Farmers Market today where we found some great deals on annuals. I spent a total of $26.50 and created all these planters…..

Geraniums and Verbena
Petunias (including Wave)
Bouquet of Sweet Peas

I also bought a Jack-Be-Little pumpkin plant and Suzanne bought me the bouquet of sweet peas. It always feels good to know you are supporting local businesses. Click here to find out where the nearest Farmers Market is in your area..

Hummingbird Nectar

Hummingbirds excite me; they really do.  We have a feeder hanging on our front porch. I don’t know why, but I feel compelled to announce, “Look, a hummingbird!” every time they land on it. We had a hummingbird fly into the house one summer.  It got caught up behind the blinds on the window and I actually had to catch it and cradle it in my hands to take it back outside.  It felt like I was holding a cotton ball.

Have you ever looked at the ingredients in those store bought nectar packets?  Sucrose (sugar), a preservative, and food coloring…that’s it.  Here’s how to make your own:

2 C. boiling water
1/2 C. granulated sugar

Dissolve the sugar completely in the boiling water. Let cool. Fill feeder. The kind of feeders I like are the ones that have a large opening so it can be cleaned easily. If you are putting out a feeder for the first time, or even in a new spot, a drop of red food coloring may help attract the hummingbirds, but once they know the feeder is there, you no longer need the coloring..

Homegrown Basil

Oh how I love fresh basil.  What I don’t like is paying $3.99 a bunch each time I go to buy it, so this year I planted my own in my kitchen window.  I paid $1.59 for a pack of seeds, which will supply me with basil all summer long.  Just pinch off what you need, and the plants will keep growing..

« Older Entries