Evening glow in the greenhouse

Evening glow in the greenhouse
WELCOME TO MY BLOG! I am glad you found me because I hope I can be helpful or at least interesting for you to follow, be you a gardener yourself or just watching vicariously.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Diary 4/30/11

The month of May tomorrow.  That floors me.  It seems like we haven't had spring yet.  The Wildflower Show had a steady stream of folks coming in until about 1:00.  What can you expect on the first sunny Saturday in forever?  Still, even though we have had such a wet Spring, there were at least 150 examples of local wildflowers.  I should have picked one of the Monkeyflowers I saw because they did not have it there.  Next year! 78 degrees tomorrow will seem too hot tomorrow and this week.  Have to help at show for a few hours in the afternoon, but have the morning to maybe plant some potatoes.

Diary 4/30/11

I think the weather is going to switch up today.  I will be at the Wildflower Show, but the soil can warm up and start to dry so that by Monday afternoon, I can get something done about cleaning up the strawberries and getting some beds ready for onions and everything else in a couple weeks.  By the end of this next week, I think we may be able to till, especially if we get some new tines on the tiller.  We picked up the last few rounds from a firewood permit we bought from the Forest Service.  The dead tree, snag, was at the edge of the forest next to a logged area that exposed the ancient tree to wind, sun, and dryness, more than it could take.  Across the road from the tree there is a huge White Oak Savannah, a magical place.  I took these pictures with a couple wildflowers, Monkeyflower, and Biscuit bush, and violets showing there. The area is called Abbott Prairie for a Hiram Abbott who lived on Big Butte Creek and was some sort of Indian agent.  Perhaps he came to this place to speak with natives as it seems to have that sort of feel.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Diary 4/28/11

Guess what?  It's raining this morning.  Any big plans I had to continue my progress from yesterday are washed away.  If you step off the beaten path into the beds, you sink immediately producing a packed earth print.  Will work on beds in the greenhouse that I am taking over-wintered broccoli and spinach out of. Looks like good weather starting Sunday.  I will be working at Wildflower Show, but come Monday, I am full of purpose, although I have volunteered to help my flower friend that day, but probably only for part of the day.  Hardening off tomatoes to go into lower greenhouse that is not as luxurious as where they have been living to date. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Diary 4/27/11

I worked on tagging the plants for show.  They are looking better everyday especially when they are sunny days like today!  Got into an overwintered bed of carrots that were totally covered with weeds.  They look really good and will grow happily now that they are revealed and will be mulched a little tomorrow.  The picture is of the carrots in the greenhouse.  They will maybe beat out the outdoor ones by a week, but hard to say, the outside carrots just want some more sun to really take off.  I have two more successions , one in the top greenhouse, and one outside that are stalled out.  Won't plant more until we get to till-no space.  Have to keep beds open for onions which will be ready in a couple weeks to go out.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Diary 4/26/11

Dog had to wear the collar.  He would not leave elbow alone.  Felt sorry for him, but that was the deal.  Doing better today, so only part-time cone head. Transplanting Sweet Burpless cucumbers into row in greenhouse.  Finishing hooking down wall of plastic on one end to keep it warmer.  Not rainy much, but not sunny as they had predicted.  Maybe I missed something, but I could have sworn they showed a sun by today's weather.  Too wet to finish potato bed as we got another 1.4 inches over the weekend.  No tornadoes, so I am very thankful.  My thoughts to all those dealing with storms and floods.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Diary 4/25/11

Garden Dog had elbow pad surgery.  He is supposed to refrain from licking sutures.  I have built him a ridiculous looking tee-shirt to protect the elbow from his tongue as described by one of the vets.  If he is good, then he won't have to wear the dreaded cone collar.  He is a dog that shivers at two plastic milk jugs banged together, so you can imagine how much he likes the collar.  He would back up around the globe if he could.  It is really pitiful to watch him get a drink from the pond with it on.  I hope he is good about the tee-shirt. Helped at my friend's nursery today.  Another friend :) came, too.  We really got alot done for her.  She grows every flower I can think of and all the new things that came out this year.  In addition she goes an assortment of vegetable starts.  She always can use help, but especially now.  Will try to get back again next week and maybe one more time to earn some cool starts for the garden here.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Diary 4/23/11

Worked on my potato trenches.  I dug a good trench, added compost at the bottom and stirred a bit with shovel tip.  Then I added a layer of oak leaves maybe 4 inches or so, just the clumps that seemed to sprinkle in the ditch and cover the stirred compost, not thick and matted.  Then I added some mix we made of rotten log, sand, and compost.  I stirred that so that soil from the original trench came up on top again.  Then I added a layer of the mulch to cover and plant in.  The trench is still below the soil surface, so I can mulch as the potato plants start to grow. I am not finished, maybe 1/4 left to do, but my arms are feeling it and I am not sure if I can beat the impending rain storm.  Not to worry, potatoes can wait a few more days.  I will no doubt have to find one more place to trench all over again, but this will be a big bed of potatoes in and of itself.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Diary 4/22/11

It has been a quiet, sunny Earth Day here.  I have worked in the earth all day!  Weeded for potato bed.  Started trenching, but have a ways to go.  Disrupted this mama wolf spider carrying her egg sac.  Pretty soon she will be going around with a hundred baby spiders on her back.  Amazing!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Diary 4/21/11

The sun poked out between cool wind and clouds today.  The greenhouses warmed up and things had a chance to grow.  Tomorrow is supposed to be very sunny and warm, in the mid-sixties. Then rain again after that.  Ah well.  Did alot of different things today.  Working on beds.  Hauled sand and compost to a couple of beds.  Worked on cleaning out over-wintered spinach for bags tomorrow and tilling soon.  Birds were busy today, should be crazy busy tomorrow.  They, like myself, have catching up to do.  Hope we have more sunny days this coming week.  The plants I am donating to the Wildflower Show are kinda small due to no sun.  Nothing to be done about it, but I gave them a good pep talk this morning.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Diary 4/20/11

Did accomplish that transplanting, caught up there, but about the time I was going to begin trenching for potatoes, it started raining.  Ah well.  Maybe some sun on Friday and nicer by tomorrow afternoon, so I will just have to get with it when I get the next chance-no dawdling as it will rain again on Saturday afternoon and Easter. Poor egg hunters. Not this Grama, luckily. Starting CSA on Friday-like 5 bags.  Gotta get some things out of the greenhouse.  There will be a serious lull at some point as the outside stuff isn't able to gain much ground with cold, wet weather.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Diary 4/19/11

Everything went fine.  Tired and ready to go lie down.  Transplanting tomorrow and maybe try to get a start on potato beds.  The potato starts arrived today from High Mowing seed company.  Looks like a big potato year for us if I can get them in the ground between all the rain.  Really could use a break to do a little tilling.  I only have a few places left that I can hand weed that do not have cover crop or are already spoken for. Asparagus is starting to come up.  Mel, my neighbor, worked on weeding today.  Have eaten a few spears from these wild ones in the greenhouse.  Picked up printed second draft of my novel today.  It will be easier to edit from hard copy than on computer, a two step process, but just more continuous than opening and closing files.  It is going to need another draft for sure, and then?  Stay tuned...

Monday, April 18, 2011

Diary 4/18/11

Got in a quick walk in this morning before colonoscopy prep.  Just a baseline thing.  So, you know what I 'm up to! I found trout lilies like crazy.  Where are the morels?  Hmmmm~  Must ask the Morel Wizard. Wooooooo!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Diary 4/17/11

White elephant jewelry exchange today-bring a piece you don't wear, but have had a hard time letting go.  Come home with something you would wear-maybe.  Fun, funky, or fine the invite said.  Making roasted parsnips with herbs for potluck. The parsnips have gotten huge! Cut and arrange similar sized chunks of parsnips(potatoes, broccoli, carrots or?) on baking sheet.  Lightly brush with olive oil and sprinkle with coarse salt and herbs, I did rosemary today. Bake at 375 degreees for 30 minutes.  Last day of rain for a couple, I hope.  Cloudy but not raining right now after .8 inch yesterday.  The creek is high, but not crazy like a big snow melt would be.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Friday, April 15, 2011

Diary 4/15/11

Tax Day!  I am lucky to have finished early and already have a small refund in the bank.  I had a busy day yesterday turning beds and weeding with Alan. Then off to town for the big purchase of a new smaller wheelbarrow.  I was excited to move things about today, but it is very cold and raining hard out there.  So, I will postpone the initial voyage until a nicer day.  I also bought two weeding tools, a stirrup hoe and a circle hoe which I will demonstrate in future blogs!  The baby tomatoes liked the bright sky of yesterday.  They are hanging out under their blanket today.  Hoping for bright days ahead...

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Diary 4/13/11

Periods of sun today, but remaining cool with a chance of snow tomorrow morning turning to rain.  Then rain heavy at times on Friday. After that cloudy with only  20% chance of rain and high in the low 60's.  That actually sounds good a this point.  Accomplished quite a bit today.  My friend, Deb, came and we transplanted up the baby tomatoes.  Tonight is their first night out.  Like sending a kid to camp, I have spent the afternoon battening down the hatches of the greenhouse and put insect barrier over the babies for the night just like a light jacket.  After tonight the nights will be warmer and as it will continue to be cloudy, that also means protection from cold nighttime temperatures.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Diary 4/12/11

Cold, but sunny.  Weeding and cleaning up around greenhouses.  Have to make another batch of soil, and then that may carry me through for quite awhile.  Just using 2 parts compost(very old and stable compost), 2 parts peat moss, and 1 part Perlite.  That's it.  That is the good ole soil mix I have used for years with success.  So back to basics.  Cherry plum is blooming.  It makes small fruit that can be used for mindless snacking (say instead of chips, for instance).  They are ready whenever the summer Olympics time of year is, second week of August-ish.  This year will be different, though.  Everything will be late.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Diary 4/11/11

Nice day.  Cleaned up some more by forest fire area. Little by little we gather firewood, picked up debris and made openings where there was a mess before.  It is rewarding and all the animals and little flowers that are coming up really appreciate it. Weeded in the greenhouse for awhile.  Have helpers coming later in the week to transplant and organize for tomato planting in two weeks.  In the meantime, I made soil mix for potting up some babies from the 32 cell packs to the 3 5/8 inch planters.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Diary 4/10/11

Birthday gala went very well.  Everyone feasted, conversed, and the weather was almost nice for most of the day. With a clean house and a bunch of food to eat, lol, I plan to really get with the garden this week.  Not that I haven't been, but I am going to try to get started on a work schedule, which I have been lax to follow of late.  I really, really, really hope that the sun comes out by the end of the week inspiring me to want to stay out there and take care of the weeds that are starting to catch hold and the transplanting that needs to be done.  I have some pest management to tend also.  This scraggly, shedding his winter coat elk was an evening and morning visitor several times this last week.  They will eat like crazy here for a few days and then disappear for 10 to 14 days to let the grass grow up again. 

Friday, April 8, 2011

Diary 4/8/11

Early morning robin
Countdown to big six oh birthday party for my husband on Sunday.  Cleaning and cooking! 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Diary 4/7/11


Heading out to garden to check on things as it is no longer snowing and the sun is out, or least for the next few minutes it is out.  Storm rolled in last night with wind and light snow which accumulated to about 2 1/2 inches by morning.  Did some watering yesterday and planted the first cucumbers and squash in planters this morning. Have to think our weather will straighten out soon.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Diary 4/6/11

I am tired of complaining about the weather, so I will just say it has not broken its pattern yet.  In fact, there is some prediction of a little snow for the morning.  I am going to start some cucumbers and squash tomorrow anyway, and then some more for the Wildflower Show.  If the weather breaks, or should I say, when the weather breaks, I will be glad I did.  I saw a Varied Thrush in the yard this morning.  I tried to get his picture, but he saw me and that was that.  They look quite a bit like robins, but have a black v that looks like they are wearing v-neck sweaters.  Our old neighbor called them Alaskan robins, and we call them leaf flippers because that is how they find their food.  They are definitely ground feeders.  They must be passing through one direction or the other.  I moved this rattan couch into the area I talked about constructing for repose and maybe yoga in the greenhouse. Bare fig tree is waiting for some sun.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


As it felt like a nice cool, but sunny morning, I went out to get a few more planter trays for seeds I have started in the house.  I no more got out there in some sun when the wind came up, a cloud crossed over the sun and it felt like winter again. Phew.  I could not get back to the house fast enough.  It was warmer in the greenhouse, but I had just opened the doors because I thought it was too warm and sweaty.  Like that, they were cooled down with the wind.  That is Oregon weather right now. I am posting a warm photo from last summer!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Diary 4/4/11

Busy day, no gardening. Cleaning up around here for a birthday get together this weekend. Ended up taking Garden Dog to the vet and running a few other errands.  Garden Dog had been coughing over the weekend.  He had a rash on his sides and his elbow pad is not getting better.  He also needed a rabies shot if possible.  The coughing was a residual effect of crunching a T-bone steak bone into little bits and swallowing.  The rash was as I had read online, "something boxer's get".  The elbow will be operated on on April 25th, so until then keep clean and doctor as you can.  He did get the shot and a nice shiny tag for his red collar which he wears when he goes out.  It all turned out well, but busy day for the Mama Dog.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Diary 4/3/11

                                                              IT'S A BEAUTIFUL DAY!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Diary 4/2/11

It is one of those days that the weather has run through all the possibilities.  It is now clear and sunny, but a cool 45 degrees and breezy.  It is supposed to be freezing tonight, so although the greenhouses are hot, I think it is best to get everything warmed up for the overnight cool down.  I don't have any tender plants in there except those that have come up as a volunteers, a few tomatoes and nasturtiums, but still nice to have warm soil to sprout peas and such.  Glad only the wild plums are blooming so far, so won't lose fruit to tonight's cold temperatures. I have had a few requests for money tree starts, and all I can advise is to plant a penny and hope real hard it grows, ha-ha.

Friday, April 1, 2011