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.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Diary 3/31/13

HAPPY EASTER TO ALL! I hope the meaning of the day for many and the renewal of the new season brings us all the chance to reflect on the changes over the last year and how we can have less strife and more contentment.
 Here at the farm it is time to get the ball rolling on starting plants for my meager garden this year and some extras to donate and share with friends. But first, it is Deviled Egg time!

Saturday, March 30, 2013


A beautiful day of sun and what seemed like warm weather. It was only 72 degrees, but felt much warmer. Egg hunt went well, but I expect to find a couple more during the next few days or when I am working in the yard sometime. For dinner we had a sampling of our first asparagus. YUM!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Diary 3/29/13

Though I was supposed to clean my house today, I spent a good three hours on making this Easter basket for a little egg hunter I know.  It was much more fun than vacuuming! Egg hunt here in the morning, weather look good.  Better go load some eggs before bed because the hunters will be up early...

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Diary 3/28/13

This will be the last of the AZ photos as it is time to start looking at all the green around here.  Desert vistas are expansive and beautiful in their starkness, but the verdant display of spring in the Pacific Northwest is hard to beat. Planted the sprouted tomato seeds into 4 packs and will start some more in the morning as I was nicely frugal with the first sprouting. To think we used to grow over 1500 tomato plants!
Cheryl's sun room

More sun room

The view from the sunroom, the baby peccaries, baby piggies.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Diary 3/27/13

Went up the mountain to look for red osier twigs to make a couple Easter baskets with my son, his three year old, and Garden Dog.  The 4 wheel drive sputtered on its way up the hill a couple times, but then stopped working altogether when we were headed back done after collecting a couple good handfuls of twigs.  Although my son tried to build a fuse out of a can flip top, we did not make it down the hill.  He hiked out to the neighbors while I told the three year old a long version of the Goldilocks and the Three Bears. My husband ended up coming to rescue, but fuse was not the entire story, so we pulled the uncooperative car home. All is well that end's well. 
Fuse w/pop top insert



Three year old w/ chickens
This would be a much better story if it had worked!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Diary 3/26/13

Working on Wildflower Show which will be held May 4th and 5th.  Getting donations, working on layout, and where everyone will set up.  Last minute collection of plants for plant sale and wildflowers will be the crazy time.Lots of folks stepping up to help, so that's good, but really I didn't want to do this...Planted some first tomato seeds in paper towels this morning.  They will sprout on top of the freezer where it stays warm and then go into four pack planters. Some for us, but not as many as ever, some for a few friends, and the rest for the wildflower plant sale. Now, for some more Arizona photos, only a couple more times, I promise.
 These are the petroglyphs that we hiked to above Patagonia Lake.

Monday, March 25, 2013

A couple Arizona birds

Ghost Town Trail

old jail

wash plant

rock wall remnant

Diary 3/25/13

Hedgehog cacti


OK, well how about the diary of the northwest gardener who went to Arizona?  Bear with me while I post pictures from my trip to Patagonia, Arizona.  It was warm, beautiful, and I had a fun time bird watching and rock hounding.  So here goes...

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Diary 3/19/13

More base rock and then a double load of gravel.  The dump truck driver was such a proficient spreader, he made the loads of rock go so far! He was quite the artist with how he made the gravel come out of the back of the truck evenly as if painting it onto the road.  Amazing!  We gave him a jar of raspberry jam as a tip for an impressive job. I am heading out on another adventure and not sure if I will be able to blog or if I can blog, add pictures, but we will see.  Meanwhile I will draft a couple posts I can put up while I am away.  Happy trails to me...

Monday, March 18, 2013

Diary 3/18/13

Busy weekend with all the nice weather! We received 7 loads of base rock for the shop area on Friday.  That was pressed into the dirt there and crushed in place by tractor and excavator. Two more loads of base rock due today and then a double load of gravel for filling in and leveling where the concrete is going.  Meanwhile, the topsoil was removed and hauled to the garden beds in the yard.  No sense covering good dirt with rock!  So there is plenty of raking to do and the yard is going to be lovely for upcoming egg hunt.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Diary 3/15/13

Our neighbors are tapping some old Big Leaf maple trees on our property by the creek.  At a ratio of 40:1, it is alot of work to get a gallon of syrup after cooking down so much sap, but I know they have been doing pretty good this year as the weather has been so nice.  Hope we get a sample soon!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Diary 3/14/13

Great day in town for me.  Accomplished so many different things in one day from taxes, to seeing a dear friend, to shopping for groceries, printing the 4th edition of my book, and getting donations for the Wildflower Show.  It seemed like everyone in town was in a good mood and smiling.  So nice.  Yesterday, Garden Girl and I went to the creek for the first time this year.  The water flow can change the layout down there dramatically.  This year we gained back some of the sand we used to have on our"beach".  We cleaned out some of the brush last summer and piled some rocks that may or may not have helped.  At any rate, it was a pleasant surprise to have more new sand to play with instead of less. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Diary 3/13/13

Plum tree pruning

Yard make over

Beets are ready, better eat them before the gophers do!
Well, I haven't quite tackled the asparagus mess, yet., but accomplished a few of the rest of the list.  This time of year, with good weather, the list gains much more quickly than the cross offs.  I have been weeding beds in the greenhouse I was going to let rest, so I need to plant a cover crop soon so I don't spend all my time keeping the area weed free. Going to my friendly neighbor's house to be to watch and help her do a bit of tiling this morning in preparation for my own artistic endeavor in the shower.  Still on hold for last bit of wall to be built soon.  We have all been fighting colds, so the delay is extended. Remember, I have given up worrying.  It will get done eventually, but with Garden Girl, firewood gathering, and a little gardening, it has not been on the docket for this couple weeks of great weather. The fruit trees are pretty much pruned, the few things I have planted are up and growing slowly.  The yard is getting a makeover at one end, and I have done a scant amount of writing, so have to be pleased with my busy life for now.

Monday, March 11, 2013


I used to have more of these Cyclamens, but these are the only ones up so far.  I had hopes of them naturalizing in the same way I saw a huge bed of them at an English castle.  Of course those had 800 years to spread.  I must be patient!
With another great day in store, I have big plans for working on the perennial crops.  I want to separate the artichokes into 6 separate plants, finish cleaning up the peonies, and begin work on the asparagus which means chopping out the old stalks and adding a layer of tasty mulch over top to prevent weeds and give them some food for the season.  They may come up as the soil warms this week. I have strawberries to plant, strawberries to clean up, and then attack the raspberry rows, thinning, and clipping into shape.  Not gonna get it all done today or even this week, but with Garden Girl's excellent help, I may be ready by May!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Diary 3/10/13

Such nice weather and more to come.  I cleaned a couple beds in the greenhouse and cleaned up half of the peonies. Divided and planted clumps of day lilies in gallons for the Wildflower Show thanks to my daughter's yard remodel. Will try to get to the beds the bull disturbed which need turning and raking and watering to get them in shape for some beans and eventually squash and tomatoes.  Have branches to haul for a fire and debris to go to the new compost pile.  Hoping Tractor Guy's back is feeling better tomorrow. We let our neighbor take another load of old appliances and miscellaneous scrap metal off today.  I love to see the mess go.  It worries me when it piles up around here. Some stuff has value, but most of what left today only has value by the ton.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Diary 3/9/13

1960's get together at the neighbors.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Diary 3/8/13

This tasty morsel was hiding in a Fir tree we fell and cleaned up.  Not a healthy tree, this guys had moved in to help the end of the tree's life along by chewing long corridors in the outer Cambrian layer.  The soft wood is perfect for this guy to chew and make interesting patterns, visible when the bark is removed.  The chickens played touch football with it, but in the end, the little red hen got the worm. Very nice weather today.  I raked seven big piles of oak leaves that still haven't rotted and hauled them into the chicken yard for them to make compost out of.  There are still plenty more to rake up and spread.  I also raked up some pine debris and mulched the blueberries with it.  Garden Girl is back.  She "helped" me plant a Forsythia and a Daphne bush.  I love te early yellow flowers of Forsythia.  I have planted three bushes before that have met various demises including a bulldozer.  This time it is safe in "bush gardens". I also love the smell of Daphne flowers.  I found a small bush I think will adapt better than putting in a larger one.  Here's hoping anyway.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Diary 3/7/13

While on the northern sojourn, we made a visit to the Evergreen Aviation Museum.  It is the home of the Spruce Goose, the largest aircraft ever made, designed and built by Howard Hughes and crew.  The framework is made of wood, spruce, and is amazingly huge.  There was plenty of room underneath for other airplanes, early models, quite a bit of World War II and some modern stunt airplanes. My dad worked for Douglas Aircraft and there was quite a bit about the company by the DC3 and DC6A aircraft they had there.  The entire museum which is large, is docented by retired volunteers who one way or another were connected to the field. They were happy to be there and willing to talk expensively about their particular display.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Diary 3/6/13

Back from a short getaway to see grandkids.  Took Hwy 99, the old north/south highway and agricultural corridor.  There were many older homes probably originally homestead sites.  Some were updated, some in good shape, others that were run down or abandoned. Grass is a big crop in that area, and many of the fields were just turning true green from the cold soil chartreuse they had been .  Sorry to have been away for so long, but didn't take the time to blog versus doing artwork and hanging out with the children, a big priority for me.