Monday, October 3, 2011

Tear Down... Hello Winter!

It has been AGES since our last post. Granted, I think we both got really bored.

Seattle had a horrible summer meaning I got nothing out of the garden. Seriously. I ate some herbs and about 6 blueberries (which was a huge success) but that was it. This last weekend I tore it all down, recycled my soil, stacked up my pots and I have no pictures for you because it is now officially the moped restoration area.

I'm not really that sad about it either because with my new sewing machine I couldn't care less about plants! I want to sew! And it keeps my hubby hobbying right beside me.

Visit Devon and I at our craft blog The Land of Crafts. See you there! And until next spring....

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Seattle- Invasion of the Mopeds

What happened to summer?! Apparently this just isn't Seattle's year for sun. And, after all of my beautiful, patient weeks waiting for my green to grow I now have a fiance who lives in the apartment full time. What does that mean, you ask? Aren't you happy, you ask? I'm thrilled! It just so happens that his hobbies need to be done outside and he loves being home so now our patio is a garden/garage for wrenching on mopeds!!! So the patio has been taken over by wrenches, two stroke oils, allen keys, bolts, nuts, you name it. But I love having my man home so I'm happy to share.

Invasion of the mopeds!

Despite the dance for space on the patio the garden is doing pretty well. We have had some cold, rainy days and I think that has actually helped the garden. It's also a really good thing that I didn't get plant envy on Devon's peppers and tomatoes and just plant them anyway. They would have never sprouted, especially this year.  
Thyme flourishes, but only in half of the pot

Hydrangeas are pretty in pink

Zucchini is getting HUGE

Basil is finally feeling its new pot

I also stopped off at the Home Depot this weekend to grab some paint for a chair I'm... painting, obviously. I picked up some oregano. I'm sick of waiting. Especially when Devon assures me it is a slow grower. I don't feel bad about cheating. I think oregano will forever be a transplant purchase. Just smelling it makes me want a burger.

Look at that Rapunzel tendril

And finally the spinach is growing! I don't know what happened this year. I think the soil being over saturated killed the first bit, then the weather (being semi-warm) just kept this new sowing from thriving. So I guess this cold, rainy weather was good for something because it's finally starting to look edible.



So, with T-minus three weeks until the wedding I'm looking forward to showing off a pretty patio, sans mopeds, of luscious green to the family. Maybe we'll have a blueberry to taste? We'll see!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Chicago: Chicago Botanical Gardens

Hello all. I also am having trouble finding motivation to update the blog lately. My plants are growing well but I just haven't felt like updating you on the number of leaves the tomato has now or whether the basil is flowering. I do have a few picture updates though.
 The tomato plant has some blossoms which means tomatoes should be on their way!

 I also have a few strawberries! But, we left for a long weekend and the strawberry plant got a little singed in the hot summer sun. Hopefully it can be nursed back to health.

 We had a crazy hail storm the other day which made me nervous for all my plants. This was the extent of the damage though. Poor tomato.

But things are growing well over here in the Midwest. The tomato plants are getting big and everything is going great.

I also thought I would share a few pictures from the Chicago Botanical Gardens. The botanical gardens here are gorgeous and it is free to get in! You wouldn't believe how many different types of gardens they have. Joe and I spent a good 2-3 hours there and we didn't even come close to seeing all of them. I will just leave you with the beautiful pictures to enjoy.

Tomatoes galore!

The vegetable garden

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Seattle- Trials & Tribulations

Hello everyone! It's been awhile since an honest update on my garden and to tell you the truth I'm starting to get bored with it. Not the blog, but the garden. The problem? Well, first off my mind is on other things like the wedding (5 weeks!) and I have gotten an intense need to craft!! Check out The Land of Crafts which is Devon's and my crafting blog.

But really I think that in my excitement to start everything from seed I didn't realize how long it would take to use it!! I mean, it's already July and I haven't even sampled my basil or oregano or thyme!! I feel like I'm losing out. Transplants are the way to go. Now, I say that with a grain of salt. For some plants, transplants are the way to go, like my blueberries or herbs, but others, like my zucchini plant are rock awesome and in perfect timing for use. Or like the lettuce (to the right there), those are already asking for a second harvest and are amazing delicious. So I guess the learnings are that fast plants should be seeds and slow plants should be transplants. Look at all the drama I had to endure just to learn that basic concept. Oh well, it's about the journey. Right?

Speaking of drama we have new developments. I have been religious about watching my plants for aphids or bugs or anything after I had to destroy all of my mint. This morning when I went to take a look at my transplants I realized they had molded (see below)!! Remember Devon's mold from earlier on her transplants? Well, mine looks a little different. It looks almost like aphid moltings, so of course I freaked out, but I couldn't find a single aphid and how would they get inside where the transplants had been, right? Plus, it looks like mold on the soil. One of my stunted (duh) basil plants was covered. Of course stunted right? It's molding. I wouldn't grow either if I was molding. Oh, that was a gross visual, sorry. So I moved the biggest and brightest basil sprouts, now a significant size (view to the left), out to the patio to "air out". I'll probably transplant them this afternoon just to work them in.

Impatience due to starting everything from seed has run rampant in this apartment. For example, the carrots. I don't know how long it takes to become a carrot as I am not a carrot, so I got curious and pulled one and it actually looks like a carrot! But it's not anywhere near ready. That's ok though, because I was able to judge progress which is all I need.

Speaking of progress check out these plants!! Especially the blueberries! Matt is very excited. I told him now we have to fight the birds to get the first taste. We are hoping our Neti will act as our blueberry guard against the birds. She stalks them all day anyway.

Thyme is growing! 

Hydrangeas are ready to bloom 

Zucchini is growing FAST! 

New spinach looks much healthier and is growing faster

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Seattle- LotusLand

I recently flew down to San Bernadino, California to get Matt, my fiance, and bring him home! After 16 months of working away Matt finally gets to come home. So to celebrate we decided to drive the Pacific Coast Highway and enjoy some sights along the way. Matt set up an amazing surprise for me our first day on the road. I got no clues except, "think of one of your hobbies and blow it way out to the extreme". Well, that was a tricky clue. What was it? On our first day on the PCH we hit Santa Barbara, CA. He scheduled us a tour of Lotus Land. I was floored! 

Lotus Land is a huge garden maintained on a 37-acre estate and includes everything from ferns to cactus to palms. They have incredibly rare plants. One palm we saw was the last of its species on the planet!! They nicknamed them, "The Bachelors" because Madame Ganna Walska (the woman who cultivated this amazing collection starting back in 1941) had three male plants put in her garden and now they are the only ones left. In the world! The garden was a complete wonderland filled with gorgeous flowers, trees, baby animals, butterflies, and hummingbirds. Lotus Land was a huge inspiration for me and I hope for any fellow gardeners it will be for you too. I immediately wanted to get home and garden! To spark your interest I have included about a million pictures for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy, I sure did. I have the best man on the planet, this was the perfect surprise. Not all the flowers are labeled name-wise. Another thing about Madame, she hated signs and a lot of these plants were new to me, but I did my best.

Me & Matt in the lemon groves

A grove of olive trees

 Buddha in the Japanese Garden

One great thing about Madame's plan for the gardens was her eccentric need for shocking change. We walked from that lush, water-filled Japanese Garden straight in to an Aloe Garden. Dry and arid it was full of every type of aloe. Such a change but it made you so much more appreciative of the climates and available variety on this amazing planet. Madame was quite the collector.
A peek at the Aloe Garden

The Lotus Pond

Hydrangeas. My fav, I know they're typical (and recently I learned symbolizes frigidity) but I love them

The single lotus bloom of June

Catcus; isn't it amazing the beauty and the thorns?

Gorgeous black succulents (they were the size of dinner plates)

A Dragon Tree (the sap used to be used to dye the wood of violins that red color)

How funny, huh?

A peek at the Butterfly Garden

Lemon Trees

The Cactus Garden

The blooms on the cacti are the most beautiful

The Topiary Garden

One of the owners of the home prior to Madame installed these gorgeous irrigation runs all throughout the estate. All were tiled beautifully and were Matt's favorite part of the gardens.

An irrigation run and fountain at the far end

The Succulent Garden

An update on my garden soon. Nothing died while I was gone (yay for cloudy/rainy Seattle) and in fact, my zucchini sprouted a strong, thick looking sprout. Pics soon.