Friday, February 17, 2012

Deadlines & a Giveaway!

Oh my, why is it that finding a balance in life is often very elusive? Even as I write this I'm thinking about the playing to be done with my boys, the calls I should be making, the to-do list I need to create and the clothes I must wash before they walk away on their own. With so much to do, some things often creep up on us before we realize it. Ah, deadlines ...

I have, however, gotten to take a peck, er, peek, at garden designer Jessi Bloom's new book, Free-Range Chicken Gardens, and it is fabulous! Once I got over my pile of envy that she can manage children, chickens and writing a book I quickly fell in love with this great read. It's easy to digest, has beautiful photos and wonderfully helpful content and tips, like did you know you can freeze eggs? She tells you how!

Chicken Gardens also includes a list of chicken-friendly (and not-so-friendly) plants and user-friendly instructions and designs for creating a chicken garden -- complete with chickens and other garden fowl!

Now my four girls (Madame Foo Foo, Honeydew, Gonzo and Camilla -- ring a bell?)  have been eyeing me as I whiz by their coop. I'm sure they're wondering just when I'm going to act on some of the lovely ideas and gardens Jessi shares with readers. They're all fantastic, but some of my personal favorites: Angela's garden and the hen poo garden. And of course I loved seeing a photos of Jennifer Carlson's backyard coop (it's modular!) because it's lovely and she's in my 'hood!

I'd love to hear what you think of this book so head over to Timber Press today and enter their contest to win this book and more: 
·         $50 gift card for chicken feed or supplies from McMurray Hatchery
·         One chicken coop plan from The Garden Coop (a $20 value)
·         1 lb. of organic chicken forage blend and seeds for chicken-friendly plants from Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden Supply (a $20 value)

Monday, August 22, 2011

SAGBUTT Reunited and on tour!

 Oh happy day when you have the opportunity to gather with a fabulous bunch of gardeners eager to share stories and make new ones. After a months long hiatus, SAGBUTT (Seattle Area Garden Bloggers United to Talk) met at my home to catch up with familiar faces and meet a couple new ones! And thanks to Kit at Gardener's Roost, we had the added joy of visiting the gardens of some NHS board members, including the zany Ciscoe Morris, who entertains and informs with much loved theatrics.

 As expected, his garden was packed with vibrant, eye-catching foliage and flowers. Plenty of eye candy to make this gardener think "oh la la!"

Much to my delight, there were several Oakleaf Hydrangea tucked throughout Ciscoe's garden.
The man himself, sharing garden wisdom with SAGBUTT members.
On hand for good food and great fun was Kit, Paula at Petunia's Garden,  Catherine of A Gardener in Progress, Alison over at Bonney Lassie, Molly of Life on Tiger Mountain, Julia of Polka Dot Galoshes and Yvonne. Not a bad showing for getting the gang back together on a whim. And it wasn't just all play, we got down to business and roughed out a gathering "schedule" to take us into December 2012. Next month is a tour of Seattle area P-patches, and in October we' ll visit Soos Creek Botanical Garden in Auburn followed by Volunteer Park Conservatory in November. If you don't want to miss out, be sure to join our group on Facebook for more details on gatherings and impromptu meetups.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The only things thriving in my garden ...

Yup, children. The children and the chickens are the only things thriving in my garden this year. The rest is overgrown, under watered or just plain dead. So of course I'm a bit nervous about hosting a handful of local garden bloggers in, oh, 10 hours. But it will be good to talk about gardening and find out what everyone else is doing in their gardens.
So far this is who says they're coming: Paula at Petunia's Garden,  Catherine of A Gardener in Progress, Alison over at Bonney Lassie, Molly of Life on Tiger Mountain, Kit from Gardener's Roost, plus Yvonne and Julia.
It will be good to catch up and compare garden notes, or lack thereof. I have to say the handful of times I've gathered with this group, SAGBUTT for those unfamiliar, I've always had a fabulous time and came away inspired and rejuvenated. It's a wonderful thing to meet up with great people and fun gardeners! Over a couple years, the group has met at Molly's home, as well as Daniel's farm, the Center for Urban Horticulture, and Washington Park Arboretum. And this time around, Kit has graciously invited the group to tour some gardens associated with the Northwest Horticultural Society, so the day will just keep getting better.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Growing a Gardener

Big Brother picked carrots the other day, then washed AND peeled them while I was still outside.

It's moments like these that I cherish our garden even more. It not only provides us with wonderful food but offers such an array of teaching tools and moments, often without us even trying.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Spring Fling - Just Pictures

Day 2 of the Garden Bloggers' Fling in Seattle had me realizing what a wonderful treat it has been to be invited to tour private gardens I have only ever seen in magazines. Each garden is unique and beautiful in it's own way, and all provide a visual feast that I happily gobbled up. And now I'm pooped. and have only the energy to share just a smattering of what today's first garden offered.
Variegated Hellebore

This garden by Michelle and Christopher Epping was gorgeous and just plain delightful to meander through, discovering its many treasures.

This inspires me to incorporate more statues in my garden.

 The lovely Jayme Jenkins of aHa! Modern Living gets caught in my attempt at photographing a territorial hummingbird among the Crocosmia. Do you see it?
Jack-in-the-Pulpit (Arisema)

Striking color combination

A view of the garden from above

Friday, July 22, 2011

It's a Fling Thing!

A place to rest among the trees

The Garden Bloggers Fling kicked off in Seattle with beautiful weather and breathtaking gardens as garden bloggers from around the country, (as well as Canada and England!), converged on the Emerald City. After visiting two private gardens and Dunn Gardens, then a rendezvous at Ravenna Gardens I am in much need of some rest. But alas, a quick update is a must!

Hours could be spent wandering the garden of Jim and Suzette Birrell. There are delightful surprises tucked in, under and behind all corners of this lovely space that features a wonderful mix of edible and ornamental. Most of my time was spent furiously snapping photos with my mouth agape, in awe at the size of many plants. When asked how she does it, Suzette replies "Compost! Compost! Compost!"
Blueberry bushes the size of VW Bugs

Lovely contrast with garden art

A sink top overflowing shade lovers, including Japanese Painted Fern

Good times were had by all. Many more expected before this Fling is finished!
Thanks for a wonderful first day!! More to come ...