Sunday, March 30, 2008


I wanted more color and look what showed up Sunday. This was a new visitor to our yard. I've spied a Stellar's Jay and an emerald hummingbird I haven't identified, but this was my first glimpse of this beautiful red creature. We snapped the photo from inside the house but when we dared go outside for a better shot it darted inside the Arborvitae. I'll need to find good resources for identifying birds so I can better track these little guests.

Sheet Composting or homemade slip-n-slide?

Preparation continues at my house, this time sheet composting the south-facing side yard. The back half shown here is usually a soggy mess due to shade from three large rhodies. We mowed the lawn as short as possible, laid down refrigerator boxes nabbed from a local appliance store and piled several inches of chip mulch from the diminishing pile in our driveway. I didn't add compost since I think left long enough the grass will break down eventually. I'll add that this was less than two hours before guests arrived for my monthly "Women Unite" party. It's now looking neat and tidy but I long for pops of color. At least the dogs are happy _ they think they're at the dog park.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Blotanical addict

I'm new to blogging but I have quickly realized Blotanical is the place to be for quick and easy networking in the garden blogosphere. This site is just as addictive as gardening! It's a joy to receive so many welcomes when you become a member. I certainly liked hearing from many of the blotanists I'm already loyally following. Searching for blogs is made easily accessible through a popular picks category _ a great, time-saving feature. I see it as one-stop shopping around the world. I'm amazed at the size of this unique community and look forward to sharing the ups and downs of my obsession with fellow enthusiasts. It's also fun to gather points _ by sending comments, visiting "plots" _ so we all can build our cache of favorites, but it's just a great way to connect with each other. This in turn helps to build readership, which validates all our efforts in putting ourselves out there for everyone to see. Another bonus, in the middle of the night when I'm really craving all things gardening, I can go digging around Blotanical to get my fix.

Neither rain, nor sleet ...

OK, snow will keep me from my garden. Thanks to the spousal unit helping with stealth, nighttime gardening, I finished the other half of the parking strip Thursday. I was geared to launch an attack on shotweed that is invading my front lawn but rain turned to snow Friday afternoon. Instead, Max and I had a playdate with friends. A good day either way.

Thursday, March 27, 2008


It was an 8' x 11' bed and it took me over four days to clean it up but I'm finished. It looks a little sparse right now but it's much improved from its previous state.

Meanwhile, as I hauled mulch from the backyard Thursday I noticed the buds on my lilac are opening. Lilacs are an indicator of changes in temperatures and once the buds are as big as your pinky fingernail you can start planting peas. Sadly, my edible garden has been sorely neglected for over a year. That's next on my list!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Splashes of spring

Spring cleaning

While I toil away on solid, soggy ground we hired Seattle Tree Preservation to clean up our apple and pear trees, and spruce up several large rhodies. One rhodie had to be removed due to a disease that I can't remember the name. This has opened up a large area of ground that I'm itching to start planting up. Unfortunately, anything in the rhododendron family is now off limits so I'll begin researching what I can safely plant there _ besides more grass where my little one can eventually play.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Time management

My time is no longer my own now that we have our baby boy. At 8 months, he's more cooperative and enjoys sitting outside in the grass while I speed weed and plant. Today he's allowed me about 45 minutes of gardening every hour and a half. I call it "gardening ala baby."

Sunday, March 23, 2008


My husband and I spent half of Saturday installing another path in our parking strip. We used pea gravel in our first when we put it in two years ago. We soon learned this does not make for a good walkway since the material rolls around, leaving rocks on the sidewalk and in the garden beds.
The parking strip is a challenge since it remains a dry, sandy wreck, despite adding compost. I'm loathe to dig it out so this year I plan to rearrange some plants _ rosemary, Autumn Joy sedum, Heuchera _ add more compost and a thick layer of chip mulch that we got for free from a local tree service.

New beginnings

With so many budding ideas for my garden I've decided to I-journal my excursions, successful and failed. I'm eagerly awaiting when I can begin the enjoyable chore of planting, but first there is some cleanup needed around my house.