Sunday, January 24, 2010

January Garden

Here it is the third week of January in the Pacific Northwest, and the crocuses are up. Daffodils too, about 6 inches worth. Here's a little garden I passed today. I was thinking, this is the type of garden I would like. One with a little greenhouse I could start the lettuce and radishes and spinach in. I used to have a little greenhouse like that in Spokane. There I started squash and spinach and other plants. There it was hard to plant early. Here, really I can garden year around. Although the plants I choose are limited. I have kale in my garden now that needs to be picked. Carrots too. I grew the carrots in a large pot. They were still small by the end of the summer, but I'm hopeful they'll make nice baby carrots for a pot of hot chicken soup.

What is the weather like in your area? Can you turn the soil yet? Can you amend it?
Happy gardening,
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Carrots in a Pot

I tried something new this year, growing my carrots in a pot. And it has worked, although they are tiny little things. I want to be a better gardener, and I'm getting a little bit better. I've been gardening since I was a kid, but I get overwhelmed easily, buy lots of things. In the case of the garden, lots of weeds, lots of plants. I have a natural propensity for saving. So if I came across a tomato plants that came up from seed, I'd want to nurture them along and then I'd have these extra tomatoes growing in the garden, smallish plants that never produce. But hey, here I am with carrots in a pot, nicely contained, not worm holes. Very exciting. Next year I'll add some manure so the soil is a little more nutricious. So I wonder how I can contain some of the things in my house, books in bookshelves, plants all in one grouping. Yes, I can get organized, eventually. I know I can.
Well I'm in the middle of getting dinner going. Soon my honey will be here. He's home from the Arctic, so I'm a happy camper. And he is too. He wants to do the entire garden ourselves next year. I like this idea. I've shared it this year, thinking it would help me get a handle on it. And it has. So with Honey's help next year, we'll have lots to eat, and perhaps some winter squash to put by. That would be nice.

Happy gardening,

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Tomatoes Again

Well yes, I've told you the story of how I grew tomatoes as a kid. I planted them in the little triangle of dirt next to the pool. Mother had her petunias planted there. She grew petunias every year of our life together. Me, tomatoes. These are my neighbors tomatoes. This is the earliest year to have ripe tomatoes from a PNW coastal garden. They have a hard time ripening here and they get blight.
I have a ton of tomatoes this year. We had a slow start on warm weather, then a loong hot spell. It cooled again, but now it's warm again. Hopefully this will last late into fall. I've been swimming in the sound off and on. Yesterday I took a chilly dip. On a recent trip to the Nooksack River, I took a dip. Somehow I feel compelled right now to get into water, everywhere I can. My friend just returned from the Arctic. People do Polar Bear plunges in icy water there. Not me. I have my limits.
I'm d
airy intollerant and have recently discovered that goat cheese is okay for me. So I've been making that delicious dish: sliced suculent tomatoes with a bit of basil and a bit of goat cheese. Dribble with balsamic vinegar. Yum! Don't remember what it is called.
Okay, happy gardening and happy life to you all.
PS Tomorrow's the new moon. Make your wishes. You get 10 each full moon. Make them count, they come true.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Garden Decoration

Well, I've had to really admit to myself that I'm not great at follow through. Now we know that Aries has a bad wrap for starting and stopping things--it's the experience Aries wants. But it's hard to get anywhere if you stop things just as they get rolling. So I let half of my garden to Mike--his plot is in the shade--and now he's calling himself my serf. I tell you, having half the garden space has made it easier on me. I've been eating tomatoes like crazy and plenty of peas. I have beans and patty pan.

The other day I ran into Mike and he said you zuchinni isn't what you think. What? Well it wasn't coming up, so I replanted. You'll like it. It's patty pan. And sure enough, there's a little space ship, sort of grey green, hovering beneath the leaves.

The other day I was over there and there where two young bucks wandering through the garden. Most of the plots are fenced now, which makes mine the key dining place. You don't have to have a membership to get in and it doesn't matter if you are wearing shoes and shirt.

Blackberries are on and so are the plums and so are the yellow jackets, squashed fruit everywhere. Ate blackberries for breakfast this morning. They are getting sweet now. And tomatoes in the salad and tonight with the burritos.

My honey is home from the arctic now. He was gone for 9 weeks. It seemed terribly long to me, although I got a ton of work done. I'm working on a book about divorce, as you know, I was divorced last year. It was a grueling year, going through all the name change stuff, and all the pain. Pain with divorce is equal to pain of death, I'm sure of it.

Well, need to get on with my day. Hopefully you are all working hard and enjoying the harvests of your gardens.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tomato Plants

For some reason I woke at 3:30 this morning. It was noisy outside, stuff going on in the city and the birds calling. I laid here in bed and thought about the garden, and all the ripe tomatoes I've eaten, fresh from the garden; all the warm tomatoes I've eaten, sun heated, and I thought about myself as a child, standing there outside the hardware tore, you know, back when there were neighborhood hardware stores, with racks of plants on the sidewalk. I wanted a tomato plant and mother let me buy one. I was in gradschool, that was the beginning of my love of gardening.

My tomato plants are doing fairly well this year. Hopefully the deer won't eat them. I scattered coyote scat around the garden, which didn't do a heap of good, they still ate off the peas. And the small shaker of the stuff set me back 11 dollars. I think the hot pepper spray works better. Most of the gardeners are fencing their plots. It looks like a mishmash of net and wire and payer flags now, but it could work, or is, especially where the higheur fences are used. I think I might put fishing line around mine. It works, just three of for strands around corner poles. Can't hardly see it and they can't either, bump into it and move away. Okay then, have a happy day. Hope your garden is growing well.

Monday, June 15, 2009

ROmanesco Broccoli

I've grown this broccoli and it is so beautiful and tasty. I have a neighbor in the garden who has broccoli ready to eat already. The problem with organic gardens and broccoli is the worms that get between the spears. It's hard to see them to pick them off, since they really blend in. My sister made me a big pot of vegetable soup after my daughter was born. She threw everything in it from the garden and it was pretty tasty. However, there were some worms in it from the broccoli. I lost my appetite and you know how it is, that weird thing with repulsion when you're pregnant and in this case, it lasted after I was pregnant too.

Anyway, if you miss some of the worms, they turn pale green when cooked and the broccoli turns dark green. So they are easy to find.

The weather has been great around here for gardening. My peas are about a foot high. The deer have been through, I've seen the muched pea tops. I bought some coyotee scat sprinkles and hope that will do the trick. They guy at the garden pet store said it would.

Today it is a little cloudy and they said it has almost been 30 days since it rainded. That's hard to believe, but I haven't been keeping track. I water my garden every three days or so. The roots grow deeper with fewer waterings and mulch helps keep the soil moist.

Have fun in the garden and believe in the lushness and goodness of life.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sweet Peas

I was thinking about the vines, peas and beans that grew on the neighbor's fence in the first neighborhood I have clear memories of. It was during that period of my life that I had my tonsils out, my leg dislocated, and I jumped off the neighbor's garage. I was a fearless child and full of rebellion. And yes, I was only 5 or 6 years old. I'd eat the peas off the vines, the raspberries too, while the rest of the kids played in the back yard. I got caught, which wasn't unusally for the pranks I pulled, but there the mother of my firends was leaning out the kitchen window telling me not to pick the peas. It happened with the raspberries and rhubbarb.
Grow your own, I say. Yum.


Friday, May 22, 2009


I've been growing tomatoes since I was in grade school. Then they grew next to the pool where my mother grew petunias. I lived in Spokane and frosts came early, so I pulled my plants and hung them in the garage. We frequently ate tomatoes with our meals, straight from my little plant.

Now I live in the pacific NW. Here, the rain and cooler marine air keeps the tomatoes from thriving in the same way they do in warm climents. You can make little hats for your plants or grown them under a plastic covered roof. Just fool around, remembering to plant in warmer parts of your yard, such as the south side of your house. I keep my under eaves--I have to water oftern, since the rain doesn't hit there--which is the point. Avoid blight!

Happy gardening! Flower

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Sugar Snap Pea Flower

I've grown bush peas and climbing peas, sweet marvels and sugar snap peas. I like them all, but since I don't get to my garden as frequently as some, the sugar peas are better for me. They last longer before getting too starchy or stringy. I love them in salads, steamed with new potatoes, or just raw. The deer like them too, so I put a fence of clear fishing line around my garden. You can't see the line well, so it doesn't interfer with your landscaping. The deer bump against it and back away. Be sure to space the fishing line so the babies can't step under it. I anchor it at the corners onto bamboo poles. Enjoy your garden and the spring weather.
Best, Flower

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


I could grow good carrots in Spokane. They'd grown long and fat and taste fantastic. And they'd winter over, covered with a pile of maple leaves, they wouldn't freeze. I'd get on my rubber boots and go to the garden in the winter, remove the snow, turn back the leaves and dig a bucket of carrots. Fresh and crisp and cold. Here in the PNW, carrots get a little fly worm in them, so there are these tunnels through the flesh and everything is ruined. This year I'm trying planting in a planter with cloth over the top--it's that cloth that breaths, light as a feather, lifts with the growth of the plant, and doesn't let the flies in. We'll see what happens, You seed rather heavilty, so the plants grow close together. Yeah, I have my peas and tomatoes in too.
Happy Gardening, Flower

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Sweet 100s

There are many varieties of sweet cherry tomatoes fo choose from. Jolly Elf, Sweet Hearts, Flamingo, Sweet Pea, Red Currant to name a few. When my daughter was in grade school her granddad brought her regularly baggies of cherry tomatoes. She loved this ritual and loved to eat the tomatoes. Now I'm thinking about my grandson--perhaps this year I'll plant more cherry tomato plants than I generally do. I usually put in three plants, and because of the climate here in the Pacific NW, I use fast growing varieties--such as the Early Girl and Big Boy. There are others that you can find at farmers markets that are vintage--many people like the heavy fruit of the Brandywine. It's delicious, I must say, but around here, I have little luck with it since the growing season is long and we tend to blight easily from the rain. Have fun choosing your tomato plants, and put in more than you think you need. Even the deer like them.

Keywords: tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, grand children snacks, childhood snacks, Early Girl, Big Boy, Brandywine

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Egyptian Walking Onion

These are very cool. They spread beneath the ground and then at the tops of the stems, many little onions grow. They are a relative of the Catawissa onion. The topsets are a distinctive red color and are spicy in flavor. The bottom onions are hot and delicious in cooked foods. You can buy these specialty onions at www.territorialseed. com. I grew these onions in my garden in Kingston. The person who turned me on to them said, just bend the plant over and step on it, snub it around and it will plant the sets for you. I'd prefer to eat part and replant the other part. They are 250 days to harvest and are planted in the fall.

Keywords: Catawissa onion, Egyptian Walking Onion, Multiplier Onion