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もう何年も前に、枯れて汚らしくなってきたので全部抜いたと思っていた松葉菊!

凄い生命力です。

よく見ると松葉菊の葉って多肉よね?

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Shortly before quarantine, on one of the first tentatively nice days, my husband and I went for a walk around our neighborhood.  We saw someone with a flimsy greenhouse on their lawn with a sign that just said “FREE.”  Turns out it had blown into his yard during a recent storm and no one had come to claim it, so it was ours for the taking.  Between the two of us we just hefted it up and walked it the two block down to our house.

It was as cheap as they come, I think they only retail for about $80 at Lowes, but we made a place for it in the yard and used it for storage.  Winter is slow to give up the ghost in our part of the country, and it actually helped save many of our plants in the dicey few weeks before temperatures finally stopped dropping below freezing overnight.  We liked it so much, in fact, that we decided to invest in a more permanent structure.

We actually have a pretty small yard, so finding one in the right dimensions was tough, but there was exactly one model that worked for us.  It arrived this past week and my husband assembled it over the course of a day.

We also bought some inexpensive plastic shelves for inside, and today while Marc disassembled the old greenhouse and turned it into a temporary shelter kayak shelter I went through all our gardening odds and ends and got them organized.

I tied fishing line through the handles of the hand tools and hung them all up with 3M hooks so we won’t have to go digging through a bin anymore.  I had this old antique tool box that was just taking up space, so I cleaned it out and now we can use it for extra tools.

The gloves are always becoming a mess, so I tied loops of fishing line to some binder clips and hung them up as well.  Now we each have our gloves in easy reach.

In front of our house is a big silver maple, and every year I try to cultivate some of the seed pods into little seedlings.  If they make it through the winter we give the little baby maples away in the spring.  This year I had the idea to start them out in peat pots so they could be transferred to better nursery pots once they get a little stouter.  I was actually worried because until recently none of them had sprouted yet, and I was afraid I’d let the seed pods get too dry.

After tucking them away in the greenhouse during a storm, however, two of them popped right to life, so apparently it did them some good.  I bought a few more peat pots at the nursery today and planted some red Japanese maple seeds that I took off one of the neighborhood trees.  It would be nice to have a whole variety of baby trees to give away every spring.

While I was at it I sorted through my seeds and found a packet of sweet pumpkins (should be good for baking, I think), and planted six of them.  It’s just about the right time of year, and if they take we may be able to get them in the ground in time to make pumpkin pie this fall.  I’ve never made a pumpkin pie right from the pumpkin, so I’m pretty excited and hopeful.

Something else I found in our jumble of stuff: A ¼ bag of wildflower seeds, and a packet of seeds from China.

Apparently I ordered them off AliExpress back when we were in our old house.  Problem being, I have no idea what kind of seeds they are.  AliExpress advertises all kinds of wild and plainly ridiculous flowers (rainbow roses, things like that), and people buy them and plant them just to see what will come up.  I don’t know why but I’ve always found that very charming – I love their comments (”Seeds arrived today, we’ll see what happens!”)

I think I may actually buy some mystery seeds tonight, but in the mean time I think I’m going to go back through my AliExpress history and see if the purchase is still buried in there somewhere.  If not, I’ll take my chances and hopefully be pleasantly surprised.

As I think about it… I think they might be strawberries?  They certainly look like strawberry seeds.  One way or another I guess I’ll find out.

EDIT: Apparently they’re catnip seeds!  Not as exciting as I’d hoped, and we’ve actually already got some catnip going, but I guess we can always use more.

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June 6, 2020: Things that are blooming or almost blooming. Calendula. Borage. Cucumber. Comfrey. Carrot that I’m hoping to collect seeds from. Volunteer marigold.

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It was a real struggle to get out today. Haven’t been sleeping well. I’m having a hard time letting my kids out since that episode at the farm. SAD and PTSD set in almost same time so my boat was riding pretty low in the water. I could not bear going out in the garden to see what the newest destruction was. So I didn’t look. I avoided places I knew were going to be trouble. I filled my basket with artichokes, rhubarb and roses.

I lingered under the plum tree and savored the handful of lingon berries and raspberries I picked. I let me gaze just rest on the Jerusalem roses and tried to pull inward to block out the noise of the protest in the city. I watched the fog give way to the storm clouds hurrying through patches of blue and I decided to plant one more time. So I manured the bed, pulled two tubs of pole beans I was going to send off to Kat and set about, one hand after another then again with lettuce that had been forgotten in a flat. When the storm came, I let the tears mingle with the raindrops. I just stood there until I was soaked but yet cleared of all the negative feelings that had been building over the course of the week. There was no more fight trying to keep the good in the front, it all just became one and then went away. I gathered up my harvest basket and came inside. The dread and tightness, the fear and anxiety seem to have departed.

I had just stuck a few roses in a coca cola bottle and set in the window when some stragglers from the protest tried to enter the side gate of my garden. I will admit, the peace that I had was fleeting as I turned in to a rabid, protective animal, barking one syllable commands:NO! STOP! GO!GO! NO!. My eyes were probably bugging out of my head and more than likely looked as crazy as I felt. They backed off, confused, annoyed, and went back down towards city center. I don’t know their business, why they thought they could enter but the anger was so consuming there was no space for good manners on my part. Now I understand the reasoning why fences are going up like fortress barricades in my neighborhood at such a rapid pace. I don’t want to barricade. I just want peace of mind not giving piece of mind. I don’t want to be combative. I am a country person that is not adapting to city living and I don’t know as my little chickens can help.

I have a new waterer for the chick babes. Its a gravity fed disc with a lipped bowl on the bottom. It stays cleaner and so far they haven’t figured out how to dislodge it. I am trying to handle them more because when I set them free into the bigger enclosure, they will not be as easy to handle without chasing them down and I’m not going to do that. I know they can move faster than me and I don’t want them to know that! Training them to come when I call for treats.

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“Echeviera Affinis”

#BlackLivesMatter #GardenersForBLM #HorticulturistsForBLM

We are slowly getting back into the saddle! As many Washington counties slowly move into Phase 2 opening, the blog will start to warm back up in posting it’s regular content as many garden nurseries open back up, or are increasing the amount of customers allowed on their premises. Thank you everyone for your patience through these uncertain times.

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Idk if “identifying seeds” is a thing, but!

I live in eastern Florida and these two seeds somehow made it into the birdbath in my backyard. I thought they’d drown, but they actually started sprouting(?)! There’s been so much rain that the water doesn’t go stagnant and it’s Florida, so plenty of sunshine.

Im curious to see how far they get, and what they’ll turn into! They’re reddish brown in color, smooth, and about the size of corn kernels, if slightly longer.

(Oh also the only plants near it is an oak tree, aside from my boring lawn)

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