Saturday, July 28, 2007

Garden Desktop: Dahlias

There's nothing like dahlias for summer bouquets. Long-lasting, intensely colorful, and in a variety of shapes and sizes. Best of all, they're easy-care perennials that will come back for you year after year!

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Thursday, July 26, 2007

July 26 Harvest Snapshot


Monday, July 23, 2007

Harvest Snapshot: July 22nd

A wonderful assortment of veggies greeted me upon my return. No strawberries in this picture, as I wandered through the garden munching them. We lost a few to overripeness, but most were cheerfully ready for a garden snack. A number of zucchini came and left while I was on vacation, faithfully transported into the office or eaten outright by my darling hubby, Mike.

Flowers abounded, as my dahlias burst into bloom during early July, and have been going strong ever since.

The summer squash that I planted too early, and which were shocked by cold, are now starting to tenatively offer up flowers, and even a squash or two. The small white patty pan squash and the two-color yellow-green summer squash are, I hope, the first of many.

Some of the cherry tomatoes were splitting from a daytime watering (wups!) but they all went promptly into the freezer, making a nice flat quart bag. Ditto with the non-cherry ones, which needed halving or quartering and went into a separate container. I like to freeze them flat, for quick freezing and thawing, and also in the right quantity for most of my cooking, which is for only two folks, me and Mike.

I was really shocked at how much change can happen in only a couple of weeks, though, when those weeks are in July and the hot-weather plants kick into high gear. Wow! Bush beans that had barely come over the top of a six-inch (15 - 20 cm) support mesh are now two feet tall and covered in flowers. Their counterparts planted two weeks previously rewarded me with a big double handful of beans, shown here.

Vining beans, such as my 2nd crop of Runners and my Chinese Noodle beans, had just come up and reached barely knee-high when I left on July 8th. The same plants today are over my head, nine and six feet tall (3 and 2 meters) respectively. The second planting of maize corn was similar height, knee-high, and has now doubled in size, while the first planting has sprouted ears in many places. One, as you can see in the picture, was ready to pick!


Monday, July 16, 2007

A Visit to Eugene, Oregon

I didn't take many pictures on my trip to Seattle and to Eugene, as I was in 'real life' mode, and not really being a spectator. I also spent most of my time hanging out with folks, rather than touring public gardens. Well, next time! But I had a great time, and wanted to share a few garden-related pix with y'all.

Gray's Nursery was breathtakingly blooming with walls of hanging petunias and spectacular frontage plantings. I had to go in and tell the manager that I'd never seen such a gorgeous display outside of National Parks! I also wish I'd had a wide-angle lens to truly convey the splendour of it all. I stood in the parking lot (out of traffic, of course) for a long time looking at the huge walls of color.

I tried a number of different exposures and angles to try to get a nice desktop-type shot of the petunias, but it was mid-afternoon and brightly sunny. At last, a petunia desktop, which currently adorns my laptop, and is here to brighten your day at work.

I was completely impressed by the numbers and varieties of huge trees on the streets here. Most were types I recognized, but some, like this one, are unfamiliar. Is this a chestnut? Or are those some kind of persimmon? If you know what this is, please let me know.

While a truly iconic Eugene street scene would feature bicycles, I couldn't resist snapping this adorable classic Vespa scooter, parked on a curving curb between two great cafes (Sweet Life and Planet Eugene). The sky and the scooter were the same color, and seemed part of one piece. Olympians getting an iced chai to go?

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Sunday, July 08, 2007

Harvest Snapshot: July 8th

A quick run through the garden while packing for my trip, but plenty of goodies. Self-defense picking of zucchini. (Is there a THEME here?!) More tomatoes, including some Green Zebra, and some nice cucumbers, too. I put the salad veggies, which Mike doesn't generally eat, into a soft-sided cooler and brought them on the train with me. The attendant, Cynthia, who really likes fresh tomatoes, had never seen the green kind before, but thought they were great. :-) Posting post-vacation, with a back-dated post, which is how I know.


Thursday, July 05, 2007

Harvest Snapshot: July 5th

A slow day in the garden, but we didn't need any fireworks there. Some tomatoes put in an appearance, with the ubiquitous zucchini. Can you believe I planted two? If only it was cool enough after 8am to fire up the oven for zucchini bread; by the end of the day, the house is still in the mid-70's, and doesn't truly cool down until the wee hours of morning. Someday I'll get a convection oven, which cooks quickly and cools down quickly. Ah well.

The first peppers of the season, a pair of sweet bananas. Most of my pepper plants are still small and scraggly. I'm not sure what's up, but I seem to recall that last year they didn't really get going until the hot dog days of late July and early August. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.


Monday, July 02, 2007

Garden Visiting? Seattle, Portland, Eugene

I'll be on vacation in Seattle this coming weekend and most of next week, then heading down to the Portland area and to Eugene. I'd love recommendations from readers in those areas for public gardens to tour, or specialty garden centers to visit (native plants, orchids, heirloom veggies, etc).

I'd really enjoy meeting some Northwest gardeners, too-- how about coffee or tea meetups? Drop me an email or a comment if you'd like to get together while I'm in town!