"One of the most delightful things about a garden is the anticipation it brings."

Thursday, March 13, 2014

March sun!

 After record breaking rain in February and the first part of March (in the first week we got more than double the monthly average), we have finally had a break in the rain and clouds and have seen the sun!  Everything seems to be better when the sun comes out, at least that's how I feel, especially after so much rain.
One good thing about the ground being wet was that the weeds and other plants I wanted to dig up came out very easily!

The fish are much more active now.  Lots of bulbs poking up.

Golden Mock Orange leaves are so pretty when the sun shines through them.

Hellebore 'Cotton Candy'

Old fashioned Bleeding Hearts have really taken off growing.

The path garden.

Gracie liked the sun too.  

The Littlest Gardener got a new rabbit, she named him Huckleberry.  He is a Holland Lop, but his ears never lopped so the breeder sold him as a pet.  Apparently his father is the "top Lop" in the country.  He is very small and very sweet.

Rainbow the Brahma chicken has been hanging out in the nesting box lately.  I think she may be broody, which means she wants to hatch some eggs.  We have no rooster so that won't happen.

Lots of plants coming up.

I don't have good luck with daffodils, this is one of two.  Not sure why they never return the next year.

Last week I couldn't wait any longer and started some seeds.  I put row covers on and now a week later I already see some spinach sprouts!  My biggest gardening goal this year is to grow a good and productive vegetable garden.

The copper tape around the bed is to hopefully keep the slugs out.  I learned in the master gardener program that copper will repel the slugs, but you have to be sure there are no plants or anything else to make a bridge over the copper.  It will be a good experiment to see how well it really works this year.

Lots of fresh soil waiting for plants!


Cherry and plum trees are starting to bloom around here.

The new little pond with a glass float I bought at the Northwest Flower and Garden show.

Tiny tulips that add a lot of color!


The front porch.

We are trying something new this spring, a project that Sweet Pea wanted to do.  Once we get started I'll share what it is.
My sister, who moved to Vermont this winter, told us they got 19 inches of snow overnight!!   I can't even imagine, and that is just from last night.  I keep seeing on the news about all the snow and cold in the Midwest and back east.  Hopefully spring is on its way there soon too!
All words and photos in this post are property of A Gardener in Progress. Pin It

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Even more neglected!

Well I thought after my last post that it had been awhile between posts, but I think it was even longer in between this time.  This last summer, fall and winter have been pretty tough and quite busy making the blog absolutely last on the list of things to be able to do.  I had mentioned in some recent posts that my Dad had been sick with melanoma and sadly he passed away in September.  That was and has been very hard for my mom and sisters and the rest of our family.
Sweet Pea started high school (high school here starts in 10th grade) and the Littlest Gardener is now in first grade!!  Sweet Pea had a very busy season of playing both school soccer and rec soccer and the Littlest Gardener also played soccer and I coached her team.  Then Sweet Pea started driver's ed!  It's hard to believe she is old enough to drive now!
Three weeks ago I started the WSU extension Master Gardener program.  It has been so fun and I can't believe how much we learn each class.  The speakers have been so interesting and it is great being in a room with 80 something other people that love gardening as much as I do.
Our winter has been pretty mild (I better knock on wood).  We had a week of very cold weather and a light dusting of snow, but otherwise it hasn't been bad at all.
As soon as Christmas was over I couldn't wait to try and find some time to get outside and work in the garden.  It is so therapeutic and I always hope that everyone has found their own form of therapy to take their mind off things.  Whether it's baking or sewing or quilting or crafting or running or doing yoga.  I think it's so important to have something to do during hard times.

 The flowering currant I was concerned might have died from the lack of water and care last summer did die.  But, of course I've already replaced it with this Cryptomeria 'Black Dragon'.  I think it will actually look better than the currant did in this spot.

 During the freeze the pond froze so much that the pump quit working and I was really worried that both the pump and all the fish would be dead.  Luckily the pump still works and we only lost one fish.

 The rabbit hutch was moved to the other side of the rhododendron and that meant open planting space!!
 I put up another birdhouse and planted a rose called 'Gruss An Aachen'.  It is supposedly the first floribunda, bred in 1909.  I'm hoping it really is as pretty as it looks on the tag!  It's also supposed to do pretty well in shade.

  
A look back down the path.  The Sarcococcas on the left have such a great scent!  It is so worth planting one of these for something that smells and looks good in winter.

The chickens have been laying all winter and we have been keeping my mom and neighbors stocked on eggs!

As every experienced chicken owner told me, they do destroy your yard.  So these girls get to have free run on this side yard (that is until I net the blueberry bushes very soon).  Only one can fly over the fence, but she quickly gets lonesome and goes back to where her friends are.

Hellebores are starting to bloom.  They are another plant that I highly recommend.  They aren't cheap, but worth every penny in my book so you can have some color this time of year.

For Christmas Sweet Pea got me this cute frog spitter.  I have wanted one for a long time.  My husband and I used a barrel liner and stones we already had to make a mini pond.  I don't plan to put fish in here, it's much too shallow.
We have had two very nice trees die here, the drainage is not good enough for them, so instead a birdhouse went in!  Once the plants start to fill in I think it's going to look even better.

I got the vegetable beds cleaned out and am going to put some of my new vegetable knowledge to use here.  I am determined to have a productive garden.  Our master gardener speaker told us that copper tape does work to keep slugs out as long as they don't have a bridge over it.  I'm going to work on putting in traps to get the ones hiding and hopefully then I won't have them mowing all my seedlings down.

Some violas.

Another pretty Hellebore.

The only ornamental kale that didn't turn to mush after the freeze.

My friend brought my girls some fairy garden decorations and plants to make a garden in memory of their grandpa (who all the grandkids called Bompa).  Santa left a few more things in the Littlest Gardener's stocking and I think it looks very sweet.

Hopefully this wasn't too depressing of a blog post after months of not blogging.  Knowing that spring is around the corner has made me feel very hopeful for some better times coming up.  I'm very lucky to have such a good husband and kids and the greatest friends who gave me so much support during the down times. 
All words and photos in this post are property of A Gardener in Progress. Pin It

Monday, August 19, 2013

Neglected

Neglected, that's how a lot of things have gotten over this summer.  My garden being one and my blog has been getting more and more neglected too.
Family things going on, as well as kid activities have given me very little time to be out and take care of the garden.  What free time I've had has been spent on watering.  It has been an unusually dry and warm summer.  I'm not complaining and neither are the tomatoes though!
I thought I would give the blog a little attention today with some of what the garden looks like right now.  Luckily weeds are smaller than the plants, although there are many, many of them.  There are wilted things and crispy things, but luckily for the most part neglect hasn't bothered the garden too much.

 The pond was refilled yesterday so it looks nice right now.

 With the pine tree now gone the plants in the garden and on the deck have gone crazy!

 The arbor has filled out more, with three different types of Clematis and a climbing rose it should be!

 Lots more sunny perennials have been added to the backyard.  They have attracted more bees, butterflies and birds than ever.

 A new Aster.

 The sun is very bright which makes the colors very washed out, but believe me there is a lot of bright color.

 With full sun here now the window boxes are overflowing.

 Lots more sun has made everything explode (and I also credit all the chicken manure from the coop that I spread here last fall).

 Sadly the neglect and lack of water has caused my Flowering Currant to completely dry up.  It didn't seem to matter how much I tried to water, it's still crisp.  I do think I see a bit of green though where new leaves might be trying to grow.

 The blueberries, raspberries and figs are having a very productive summer.  They have really been neglected and luckily don't need too much water.

The chickens are doing great.  You can see the three new ones here that we got as chicks in April.  They all three are laying eggs now.

                           
 Containers on the back deck.

 There's a wagon under those flowers!

 We've seen so many more butterflies than usual this summer.

 Lots of pears getting ready to be picked.

 One of the raised vegetable beds.  We've had tomatoes, carrots, beets, turnips, garlic, chard and Kale already.

Spinach, squash, basil, blueberries and even eggplants!

 Lots of color!


 From the street.

The driveway bed.  It has gotten actually more attention than usual because it's getting some water.  I get very lazy dragging hoses around even in an uneventful summer, but this year I'm making sure that this part doesn't get ignored.

 This baby wren is from mid-July.  It's the first time we've ever seen the babies leave their next.  We had several birdhouses that hosted not one, but two different families this year which is very unusual.

Maybe once the girls start school in September the blog won't be so neglected?  Maybe I'll have more time to spend in the garden?  Well, one thing I've learned this summer is that the garden will go on despite the neglect it's gotten which has been something that makes me happy.  Nothing like a tough day when I can still look out the window and see flowers and birds and butterflies still going on without any help from me.  Another gift from the garden.  It doesn't need me, I need it.

All words and photos in this post are property of A Gardener in Progress. Pin It