Showing posts from April, 2014

Monday Garden Update

... After a week of much-needed rain, we had a glorious weekend.  Which means that I was able to get my hands deep into the garden.  Plants are growing, but there's a lot of tidying up that needs to be done.  It's also really important to just take time to look around at everything.  I planted this California native Douglas Iris the year we bought the house, and it has only just now bloomed. Our hop vines are doing remarkably well.  One plant has already grown past the roofline of our garage. The Scarlet Runner Beans are also growing like crazy. The Purple Royalty beans took a beating when the darn hens got into the garden and tore them apart. I need to find a moment to buy more seeds.  I also need to find a moment to plant the Trail of Tears beans before they die of neglect in my seed trays.  And the less we say about the chard starts, the better. Sigh....  I don't have a lot of luck starting seeds.  They get going, and then something always happens, an

I Came, I Sawed, I Conquered...

... This weekend saw a frenzy of gardening, and the largest part of that frenzy was the sawing down of our pathetic backyard brugmansia.  This poor thing has been struggling ever since we bought this house, back in 2009. Originally, I had planned to cut back all the dead wood, with the hopes of rejuvenating the few bits that were still alive.  Once I got all the dead branches taken out, there was almost nothing left.  Robb talked me into taking the tree out altogether. I know he was right, and that this poor thing wasn't going to recover, but that didn't stop me from feeling like a killer.  I patted the tree, and apologized to it, the whole time I was sawing.  When you look up the phrase "tree hugger," the picture you'll see is mine. The big challenge was removing the branches without dropping them on the beehive.  I was cutting the wood with a bow-saw (bottom right corner of the above photo) and needed Robb's help supporting the branches unti

Orchids with Stowaways

... Robb and I keep our eyes open for estate sales.  They're a wonderful place to buy older housewares, the sort of things that make people declare "They don't make 'em like that anymore."  We prefer to buy well-made used goods, because it's a good choice environmentally, and because we're both the kind of weirdos who prefer old things to new. I've also come to realize that the estate sales around here often sell massive cymbidium orchids.  This variety of orchid is well suited to our climate, and can take an awful lot of neglect.  What we often see at estate sales are the gardens of people who may not have had as much energy to care for their plants as they once had.  It's rather sad.  People get older, and they can't keep up with the gardens which they clearly once loved. I can't remember a time when I wasn't nursing a plant that someone else had neglected.  I have a soft spot in my heart for unloved plants.  Today, I brough