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, March 31, 2012

Diary 3/31/12

Watch out for fooling tomorrow, though I think I will play it straight this year.  Garden Girl is Back!  With that comes some of the difficulty from trying to keep up with blogging, let alone gardening.  Hail and sudden violent squalls of rain today broken up by sunny periods.  Took a look around at fallen trees and broken branches from the latest bout of weather.  The ponds are nearly full and the ground is full of all the water it can take.  I think we have a break ahead, but that might have changed by now.  Sometimes I think the weatherman predicts events to make us feel better.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Diary 3/29/12

Greenhouse work as the rain continues.  Allen helped make the upper greenhouse look very tidy and prepared a couple beds, one of which I planted with bush snap peas.  In the top greenhouse, the carrots, mustard greens, and lettuce are up finally.  Sure has been a slow start, but longer days and even the brightness making some progress.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Diary 3/28/12

So my youngest child is 28 today.  It does sound old , but not as badly for some reason.  Maybe I am in denial.  Now it is the ages of the grandchildren that I will be remarking about I think.  I hope I get to count off lots of them.  Today and yesterday were not so rainy, but gloomy.  The report is for four more days of rain.  It seems the odds are coming up on a sunny spell soon.  I have to start moving the baby tomatoes out to the greenhouse soon, and although they won't die, they, too would like some warmth ad sun, at least occasionally.  Meanwhile we are all waiting for that time.  The pond water is still cool enough that the fish are not eating.  The tree frogs are getting comfortable, which will not work out when the fish wake up.  Mr. Duck had Mrs. Duck with him on the pond yesterday until Garden Dog walked over and scared them off. The really need to find a better permanent residence.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Diary 3/26/12

Swallows were here this morning, but as the scant sun changed to cloudy, windy and cold, they disappeared.  Just another sign that Spring is waiting just around the corner to arrive.  A mallard was swimming on our seasonal pond.  I didn't see a female, just the lone male.  This pond is mainly a flood control feature and will not hold water for long, so I am glad he is just a handsome bachelor.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Diary 3/25/12

It is not raining rain to me,
It's raining daffodils.
In every dimpled drop I see
Wildflowers on the hills.
 April Rain    Robt. Loveman

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Diary 3/24/12

Amazing to think of collecting the pollen of crocus for saffron.  More amazing to dye cloth with this rare commodity.  I will just enjoy the flowers.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Diary 3/23/12

Nice and busy day.  Attacked some blackberry bushes that have been encroaching the yard.  We will level the area out, add landscape cloth and create a new picnic area or? Everybody was there to help including the dog, cats, and chickens. Sun had the frogs croaking and robins cheeping.  Wish it would stay like this for days, but NO, it is going to rain for the next six days.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Diary 3/22/12

The sun was out for a short time today and I tried to go out and do a little weeding, but I had no stamina, and accomplished little other than admiring how well the weeds were growing and finding where a gopher had eaten some pea sprouts xxx###!!!### . I did get some of the baby tomatoes into their trays.  I finished setting up the lights yesterday.  I dreamed of getting one of the new LED light systems, but I know the price is going to go down rapidly and the technology will increase likewise, so for now, set up the same old shop lights, nothing special, but they have worked for 30 years. So here is a picture of the first gold cherry tomatoes and the variety I grow the most of, SuperTasty. Aren't they sweet?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Diary 3/21/12

Raining hard. Snowing north of here in Eugene, just the way the jet stream has set up.  Not sure when we should start building the ark. I guess we get a break on Friday before more rain on the weekend. Puddles everywhere as the ground is saturated. Hunkering down, trying to get well. Sun would help.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Diary 3/20/12

Happy Spring! My eldest child is 33 today.  Trying not to think how old that makes me feel.  Ah well, I would feel quite a bit better if I were not fighting this congestive cough virus.  I don't think I am losing ground, but I have had a low grade 99.4 to 100.2 temperature for three days and it is certainly making me weary.  Nap time soon , maybe after some lunch.  Although I am not as hungry as usual, I still have an apatite.  Woke up to another overnight snow storm.  Some very wet and sloppy stuff.  It has been raining since daylight, but seems to just absorb into the snow as most of it is still on the trees, deck, lawn, etc.  Puddles are forming as well as rivulets, so soon the snow will wash down to the creek.   Planted the first tomatoes into their trays as they has sprouted.  Started another batch which is how it will go for the next couple weeks.  Towards the end of the first week of April, I will start peppers and then squash and cucumbers after that.  Looking outside, it is hard to imagine, but it can switch over to warm sunny days at any point and I kinda hope it does so soon!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Diary 3/18/12

Snowing again.  I think we may have had more snow in March than we had all winter.  If it is anything like last year, this sort of thing is going to continue until mid-May.  Good day to lay about and try to get well.  It was sunny for the middle of the day, but another blizzard just started and the wind made the snow approach the house sideways, first from one direction and then violently switching 180 to blow snow back the other direction.  Crazy.  The bad news is this jump rope jet stream is going to divide the country again with tornadoes occurring along the border of the very cold and very warm fronts. Spring begins in a few days, but there is no sign of it here.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Diary 3/17/12

Fist Buttercups
After nursing my husband for 2 weeks, I have the same crud.  Sorry to be missing a St. Patty's party at my next door neighbor's, but don't want to be passing what I have around. Snow due this afternoon with little accumulation.  At least hanging out and napping feels better when it is snowing than when it is sunny. Hopefully I can nip this in the bud and don't have to go through the long version that my husband is slowly recovering from.  Didn't get those tomatoes started, so will do so now.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Diary 3/16/12

The rain which came down in buckets yesterday leaving 1.6 inches in the gauge has slowed today.  Of course when I went out to try to get something done, it started up again and is once again raining hard. Seed trays are ready.  I will start the first tomatoes tonight.  It will take them a few days to sprout and then they go upstairs under lights.  I keep them here in the house for the first three weeks or so of their lives. Here we go!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Diary 3/15/12

It is raining very hard and not so cold, but uninviting for even greenhouse work.  The dog is restless, and the cat is so bored he is playing with a rubber band.  I have taken on "the closet" and have thrown away my share of dusty old relics of my former life including a final Sociology paper from 1972!   I can't believe I saved it all that time, and I only received a B+ on it. Wouldn't you think if II was going to save something like that, it would have been an A? Ah well, I have vacuumed the dust webs which were so thick they formed thick curtains in the back corners.  Now to put the items I still want in the tubs and stack them neatly. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Diary 3/14/12

Town errands and wash day.  Glad it wasn't with this beast!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Diary 3/13/12

Snow on the mountain and cold and windy here.  Not inspired to do much, but sunny weather has got to be coming soon, though I do not see it in the forecast!  Little by little we catch up with our water year deficit.  Trees and mosses are happy.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Diary 3/11/12

Happy surprise to find these cyclamens blooming.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Diary 3/10/12

Digging garden gold, the compost from last year.  It looks great, no rocks and little vegetable matter that didn't fully breakdown, only found a few pine cones.  It rained at the end of the composting session last year, so hoping it is somewhat sterile.  That last heating is important not only for toxins or soil borne disease, it also finishes off any viable weed seed that might be in the mix.  Definitely fine texture and full of organic matter to feed the soil micro-organisms.  That is what it is all about, after all.  Grow your soil to grow your food.

Friday, March 9, 2012


Pruning until a stalk every 8 inches or so

Take that, Thorny Rose Bush!
Hurry scurry to get as much done as I could today.  I pruned the other two figs, made two batches of soil mix, and finished the top red raspberry row.  Then I cleaned up all the mess I had made with prunings like a good girl.  Tired, very tired.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Diary 3/8/12

It was sunny and warm today. probably 70 degrees although I never checked the thermometer.  Allen, a neighbor and dedicated farm helper, joined me in the attack with clippers,lopers, and saws.  We pruned 2 fig trees, the main asparagus patch, a row of raspberries, and an out of control, very prickly heirloom climbing rose bush. I turned on waters in all three greenhouses. With the sudden warmth, most of the beds were ready to be watered again.  Also, the dark wet soil can hold some warmth through tonight.  No watering tomorrow though because a cold cloudy session is coming, so you don't want wet soil going into that. As I said before, it is a little tricky right now with young plants and not tough tissues yet.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Diary 3/7/12

A very cold start on what turned into a warm afternoon.  Tomorrow promises to be even warmer.  Good growing days, grow stuff grow!  Walla Walla onions are coming along and compared to the red onions I started they are doing so much better.  Hope the reds didn't suffer from the cold and are just having problems getting started.  Working on beds in the lower greenhouse as it is more moderate in there than in the upper greenhouse which I will save for those early cucumbers and beans.  More clean up tomorrow on the asparagus patch.  Hope to prune back the fig trees.  They are trying to poke through the plastic roof, so they will have to be pruned back to where they were trimmed last year.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Diary 3/6/12

                                                   Beautiful snowy day

Monday, March 5, 2012

Diary 3/5/12

Town day with lots of loose ends getting tied up and some others coming undone.  Ah well, that's life.  At least the taxes are done and I can relax on that one.  Tomorrow looks cool with snow in the morning, but the rest of the week is looking good, so hope to get some strides accomplished in the garden. 

Sunday, March 4, 2012


Purple sprouting broccoli
Writer's workshop was very informative.  It was given by Robert Duglioni, a crime and court mystery writer.  He was a lawyer and made a major life change to become a writer, not immediately at all.  He did not advise others to follow his lead, and to some degree, he lucked out.  The workshop was about the structure of a novel and how to a, write to keep the reader turning the pages, and b, avoid the mistakes that agents and editors look for and throw you aside for.  He was funny and an excellent teacher.  So glad I went. I have lots of work to do before my first manuscript will be ready for reading, phew!  Really nice day, sunny, warm and felt like plants were growing.  Cleaned the upper greenhouse and hauled some compost to start making soil mix and fill planter trays.  Only a couple weeks until I will start the first seeds. Purple sprouting broccoli is a great choice for over-wintered broccoli.  The plant will keep making sprouts for at least the next month.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Cat Update

Just wanted to let anyone who was curious about what happened with the new cat know that we have named her Felicity, one of the few good suggestions I received.  My grandchildren had some doozies.  Gopher Tender whose real name is Miles, has accepted her into the fold, mostly because she really didn't give a hoot whether he did or not!

Diary 3/2/12

Storm broke up and the sun came out.  I turned waters on in all three greenhouses, it was pretty dry in there, actually.  It is a fine balance between watering and temperature at this time of year.  If you get the soil too wet and it is cloudy for a few days in a row, it can rot the bottom stem of baby plants called dampening off. Basically the soil eats your plant because it isn't growing. On the other hand, I am trying to germinate seed, so I have to keep a certain degree of dampness in the soil to do so. Tricky this tenuous time of year.  More bright days, warmer temps, and longer hours of daylight start to change how plants grow as the Equinox passes and Spring begins, only three weeks away.  Before the snow storm, this Red Tailed Hawk ( or maybe two ) was hunting gophers at the bottom of the garden.  I hope he returns with the good weather this weekend.  I am off to a writer's workshop tomorrow, expect great blogging in the future, ha-ha.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Diary 3/1/12

March certainly came in like a lion with another 6 to 8 inches of snow this morning.  On top of what was there from yesterday, that makes a foot to 14 inches out in the yard.  It is clearing off now, so it will freeze tonight.  That will hold the snow on the mountains.  Here, the weekend is promising some sunny warmer weather that will melt most of what we have.  Not sure what is in store after that, but I am glad for all the moisture.  So sorry for those folks facing tornadoes night after night.  That line where there is the mixture of warm and cold fronts is so dramatic in satellite images. Obviously, it brings dramatic events to the ground.  Garden Dog, who is afraid of most things, loves the snow.