I planted my seed potatoes today into some 15 gallon reusable hydrofram planting pots that I ordered from Amazon. I picked up the organic seed potatoes at my local garden center and planted 3 varieties: Dark Red Norland, Rose Finn Apple fingerlings and Kennebec. I used 5 bags of local organic compost to fill the pots and my kids laid out the potatoes with their “eyes” up. We’re all excited to see what harvest time will bring!
I also spent about two hours organizing my “nursery” area. Most gardeners have an area where old pots and new plants hang out and mine was out of control. It’s also near the entrance to my garden and I wasn’t happy with the way it looked. Messy and junky. Well, I organized, consolidated and made room for a new woodland garden in an area next to my house that was definitely not attractive. The trash cans and compost bins need to stay, but I arranged the new plantings I purchased for this area and think I have a good way to screen the bins from view with a leyland cypress that I will try to prune and keep under control. I have also been collecting stumps from the woods near my house and figure I’ll pick up a couple more into and around which I can tuck ferns, small conifers and oregon grape.
A friend of mine also let me have quite a large quantity of rocks that she dug from her garden over the course of last year. I filled up my SUV once and figure I still have another load to go. I’m using the rocks around my pond and some planting beds to keep things tidy. I’ve also been on a cairn kick, but more on that another day.
Oh, and I should mention that today was the first day in like a week that it didn’t snow. Though it must have snowed overnight as there was a dusting coating everything this morning. It’s been a very cool spring with typical pacific northwest unsettled spring air. Rain, hail and snow fall frequently and it tends to be very grey.
The official sign of spring is the blooming of the forsythia bush. Every garden should have one, if only to determine when to kick off things like fertilizing your lawn and planting veggies. I jumped the gun a bit since I could tell that the buds were getting ready to burst.
Last week my landscapers installed finely shredded bark mulch and I subsequently needed to dig out my perennials and move the mulch away from stems, trunks and stalks not to mention the fence and house siding. With help from the kids, we planted lettuce, carrots and more radishes in the garden. Indoors, I started the following seeds: cucumbers- 2 varieties, luffa gourd, and more artichokes.
Today I spruced up the backyard patio planters with some cheerful pansies. I have spring fever in the worst way! The garden is looking great and all neat and tidy with its new blanket of mulch.
- …and more, I’ll be back with a list :)
My kids were playing so nicely this morning that I didn’t dare interrupt them with something as silly as breakfast. They are 5 and 6 years old and believe me, they will let me know when they are hungry. So, I took the opportunity and went to plant the two semi-dwarf cherry trees that I picked up at Costco two weeks ago. I planted these near the top of my slope, so pick ax in hand, I axed two holes and got some nice rocks in the process to edge my pond. I positioned the trees in their holes, took a moment to give my 6-uear old permission to make breakfast on her own for the first time, and added plenty of planting compost to get the trees off to a good start.
With the trees planted, I spread some evergreen tree and shrub fertilizer on the remaining unfertilized plants. I added plenty of blood meal to the Italian cypress and feel well prepared for the landscapers coming tomorrow to spread 8 yards of shredded bark mulch on all my planting beds. The past 3 weeks have been a lot of hard work getting ready for the mulch and spring, but I am finally ready and can’t wait for how tidy everything will look.
I took a moment to refill the bird feeder as the birds can apparently sense the snow that is supposed to be on the way and were very busy at the feeder this morning.
With my work done, I went back in the house to see that my kids had not only made their own breakfast, but had even put their dishes in the dishwasher. Definitely a very welcome first! I’m so proud of them . Of course, and hour later they promptly started arguing over who gets what cup, but by that time I was done in the garden and could deal with it. There’s hope!
After getting the kids to school and running an errand, I put my garden clothes and muck boots on one more time to spread moss killer on the lawn before the snow and rain that is promised for the rest of the week. Not only did I get the moss killed, I was able to un-box and locate my new compost barrel that I ordered from Amazon. It fits in my side yard and seems easy enough to use. I promptly filled it with kitchen scraps I have been saving for the past 2 weeks since I ordered the compost barrel. I added plenty of brown material (dried leaves) and will see how it does. Since it’s not terribly warm, I am guessing that the compost will take much longer than the two weeks that the directions of the compost barrel are suggesting. If this barrel works out, I will buy a second barrel so the compost has time to breakdown.
The snow is coming down now and I am hoping for semi-reasonable weather for the landscapers tomorrow morning. I’m fairly high-maintenance when it comes to having things done my way in my garden and will have to be out there to make sure the landscapers know which tender shoots to look out for and not step on :) I have truly wonderful landscapers, Berna Landscaping Maintenance, who I discovered back in 2006.
I spent another 2 hours in the garden today cleaning up a planting bed. Weeds, gone. Space for veggies, cleared. Back, hurts. Feet, nice and warm and dry thanks to my new Muck Boots. I can’t say enough about these boots! I used to wear an old pair of leather hiking boots to do my gardening. However, with a backyard that tends to look be more like a marsh than lawn, my feet would inevitably end up cold and wet- and that was with me always watching where I stepped. Now, I pull on a pair of thick wool socks, tuck my pant legs in and pull on my Muck Boots and I can step where I want and my feet are warm and dry. I can even go up and down my rather steep, grassy slope without slipping with these boots. I only wish I would have bought a pair sooner! If you garden in the Pacific NW and don’t have a pair, what are you waiting for?
…searching for anything having to do with the key words, “fairy gardens.” Who would have guessed! In that spirit, a wonderful local nursery, “My Garden” in Mill Creek, WA has a wonderful selection of all sorts of fairies, fairy garden plants, fairy doors, fairy homes and fairy yard ornamentation and tools. It looks like they don’t have a very extensive web shopping site and I’ve only shopped with them at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show the past couple of years, but have been very impressed with their selection of all things garden fairy. So be sure to check them our if you live in Western Washington and let me know what you think.
Also, based on my experience at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show the past couple of years I have come to think of Edelweiss Perennials as my favorite vendor for fairy garden plants. They simply have an amazing selection of miniature and dwarf perennials in addition to their regular selection of perennials. The plants are very good quality and I have been impressed with the vigor of all the plants I have purchased from them over the years- mostly for my fairy garden. They also have a nice online shopping site though I have purchased all my plants from them at the Garden Show. You will not be disappointed!