Sunday, April 17, 2011

April showers

An overcast day in April.

The weeds have been growing like crazy and the garden has too, although apparently I didn't take any pictures of the Asian greens mix and the carrots and chard that survived all the downpours. Instead, here's a pretty picture out the driveway:

Monday, March 28, 2011


Starts are up but not very well started...I haven't quite had enough light for them so they're a little spindly. Oh well, at least the basil had a good germination rate...

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Week of March7th

Last week the sun came out and the sprouts appreciated it.

Oliver and I enjoyed a little sun as well.
Meanwhile, the chamomile I planted a few weeks ago is looking good.
The summer savory looks a bit scrawny but is starting to do ok.

And the chickens are laying again. Yay for fresh eggs!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Rain is all well and good, but too much of it...
The soil in our garden is very much clay. Even though the area has been gardened for a while and organic amendments have been added, it still is really heavy on the clay. I didn't realize how bad drainage was though. One of the rhubarb plants ended up fully under the water by about an inch in the last rain. It's not looking so good. Luckily the other is at the other end of the garden which didn't flood.

This little fellow came out in the drizzle to help me survey the flood. He came right up to the camera.
He showed up a few months ago. There are a few semi-feral cats who hang around our place. One of the former housemates who still keeps cows and goats on the property has trapped and neutered/spayed them and feeds them. They are all pretty skittish, but this little guy is so friendly that he must have been a pet at some point. He was already neutered too. We suspect someone drove him out to the country and abandoned him. He seems to be getting along well with the other cats and as the most approachable of the cats, he's definitely getting lots of attention. We initially referred to him as Scaredy Cat when he first arrived, but now that he's warmed up to us, the moniker no longer applies, and we're trying out Oliver as a name. Here's a slightly better view of him. Meanwhile the first plants are coming up. I planted an asian greens mix which has a bunch of little sprouts.

The row of bok choy is coming up too. Now if only I could remember what I planted in the other rows...daikon radish, beets and one more thing. I also have a little densely planted plot of carrots and a very unhappy fennel plant in that area.

One more gratuitous Oliver photo:

Thursday, March 3, 2011


Raining today, so didn't need to water. Planted the seeds on Sunday and today is Wednesday and though it's early, I checked to confirm: no seedlings yet. Some of the seeds I planted are a little older, and some like the japanese indigo are supposed to be best from the previous year (and mine are from the season before that) so I planted densely with crossed fingers.

I did get the rhubarb into the ground. I've been wanting to grow rhubarb ever since reading about it in Jenny Dean's book on natural dyeing "Wild Color." Not only is rhubarb tasty in pie, the roots and leaves can be used as a dye (yellows, greens, oranges) and the oxalic acid which make the leaves toxic serves as a mordant for dyeing with other plants (i.e. it helps other dyes stick to the wool). Aaron got a rhubarb plant last year while he was doing the master gardeners program, but had to leave it with the Spreckels house, so I was excited to see rhubarb plants at the local hardware store. I now have two very sad looking little rhubarb plants in sunny corners of the garden with optimistically lots of room around them. Grow little guys...

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Fresh start

I love gardening. I love feeling the dirt, watching the plants grow, harvesting and cooking up tasty veggies. I read seed catalogs and plant books and hang around with soil scientists and plant researchers. Sadly, I'm not a good gardener.

I tend to work in starts and stops. Get really enthusiastic about a project and throw myself into it, only to get distracted by another interesting bauble and swim off in that direction. Art pieces can wait patiently until I get back to them. Gardens, not so much. Tearing up the lawn and building a raised bed, planting starts was all well and good, but then forgetting about it and not watering for a few months didn't work so well.

But I have a plan. A long term project. A goal. A new garden.

After clearing space back in November then promptly not planting anything for 3 months, I finally spent Sunday reworking the soil and direct seeding some (late) cool weather crops as well as getting some starts going for the warm season. It's a new year for me and I think I can I think I can I think I can I think I can...