This has never happened in my entire gardening lifetime, friends. I plant tomatoes in my garden every year and, more often than not, I will get a few tomatoes before the first frost. Most of my tomatoes are usually green in September and October due to lack of sunshine and heat in our lovely Pacific Northwest weather.
Well, this year, it’s actually SUMMER! Bees will buzz. Kids will blow dandelion fuzz. And I’ll be doing whatever snow does in Summer…. oh, wait… sorry. I guess I still have Frozen in my head.
Back to those tomatoes.
Seriously, tomatoes just don’t get ripe around here. I’m quite gleeful. Yes, I said gleeful. There is nothing better than a garden-fresh tomato. The flavor is absolutely nothing like a store bought tomato. I’d start planning all of my tomato based recipes except my youngest loves tomatoes too and they seem to disappear every time she walks outside to visit the garden.
The other day I was noticing how much I love the lighting in my backyard as the sun is going down. It makes me want to run outside and take pictures of anything and everything that grows in my yard. Then I remembered that I do that over and over again. Since no one at my house cares too much about the photos I take, I post them here. You, my friends, are the only people who really care what’s growing. Well, maybe you don’t really care, but I’m posting them anyway.
The strawberries at Biringer Farm are ripe for the pickin’, but mine are just babies. I will patiently water them and move them around my yard, chasing sunlight, until they are ripe.
My baby tomatoes are as cute as can be! This is the Sweet 100 variety and I can’t wait to eat them as a snack. I’m hoping I get to them before the little tomato monster in my house. My daughter eats them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Seriously, she eats a bowl of cherry tomatoes along with her yogurt in the morning. As much as I love tomatoes, they just aren’t a breakfast food in my book.
If anyone has any idea what this pretty flower is called, please let me know. I have forgotten the name but I love the way it blooms all Summer long. The hummingbirds love them too.
My cilantro is growing strong! I’ve already used some to make pico de gallo and added a bit to our BBQ chicken pizza.
Romaine lettuce is one of my favorite varieties of lettuce to grow each year. It’s almost ready and I can just about taste our chicken Caesar wraps.
Ooh, I love these pretty little flowers. This is a perennial geranium that was given to me by Carpooler Michelle. The dainty little flowers make me happy.
Snapdragons are one of my favorites! They usually don’t last too long in my yard. Between the kids and dog, they get knocked down pretty quickly. But, on the bright side, when they break off I take them inside for bouquets.
It’s not the whole yard, but this is the area that’s the prettiest when the sun is going down. I played around with my 50mm lens while I was out there. I’m still not sure if I like the level of blur in the background of most of the pictures. I guess it’s a personal preference, but I had a good time wandering around the yard and playing with my camera. Maybe I should start taking pictures of other people’s yards, so you don’t have to see mine all the time!
We’ve had an absolutely beautiful week, here in the Pacific Northwest. We’ve had weather in the high 70’s and sunshine every day. I’ve taken the opportunity to work in the garden during every spare minute.
The vegetable garden isn’t looking lush and beautiful yet. I have cold weather veggies starting, like lettuce and parsley. On the left, I have sections for zucchini, mini pumpkins, parsley, salad blend lettuce, cilantro, chives, and romaine lettuce. In the back right section I’m trying
to feed the squirrels again this year sunflowers again.We’ll see how those go. I may need advice from my cousin the hay and corn farmer, who is planting 60 acres of sunflowers this year. (My inner photographer is jumping up and down with excitement at the idea of taking pictures in 60 acres of sunflowers! Farm-cation, here we come!) Finally, the front right quadrant will be tomatoes and basil. I don’t plant those until June because our weather is usually so wet that they rot right in the ground.
The back side of the yard is filling out nicely. This is mostly daylillies and black-eyed-Susans, with an Endless Summer hydrangea thrown in here and there.
We’ve had enough rain to make my garden look quite lush and green. Now I just need a bit more sunshine so the flowers will bloom.
I really don’t like Rhododendrons much, but there are a few around my deck and help fill the space. One of them died this year, so it needed to be replaced. (These plants are nearly impossible to kill, but somehow I managed!)
My little helper enjoyed running around barefoot in the grass, but stopped long enough to help me plant some flowers and herbs for the potting bench.
It’s one of my favorite parts of the yard right now.
She even helped me water a bit. Unfortunately, we won’t need to be watering at all this weekend. The weather has changed and God is taking care of our watering needs for the next few days.
One of my friends was telling me that her goal is to grow enough food in her yard that she can tell her kids to go out and pick their own snacks and meals all summer long. I love it! No dishes, no snack bags and garbage around, and no mess to clean up. Doesn’t that sound awesome?
That big dirt pile isn’t exactly moving itself! Well, it’s kind of moving itself because my hubby was shoveling away while I took my youngest to piano tonight. I don’t think I’ve even moved half of the dirt that he has. I’d say I’m still earning my keep though. I’ve been pretty sweaty and dirty the past few days.
My plants are so happy with their new outfits!
Never mind the fact that my stupid tulips are popping up, one at a time, or the fact that their petals are falling off. Remember, this post is not about my garden. It’s about the dirt, Friends.
While we were outside shoveling tonight, we heard a funny tapping sound. We spotted this little guy making a hole in our tree. Although he’s pretty cute, he is VERY annoying when he tries to attack the chimney or the siding of our house. This tends to happen at about 5:30 am, on a Saturday. I’m hoping Woody Woodpecker will find a new home.
Back to that dirt.
I absolutely cannot wait until I can get the rest of my garden planted. After the rainiest April on record in Seattle, we’re ready for some sunshine, warm soil, and time to get our hands dirty.
Want to know the best surprise ever? It’s coming home to a giant pile of dirt that needs to be hauled to the backyard.
You think I’m being sarcastic, but I’m really not. I’ve been dying to have some dirt delivered but we can’t seem to get a dry stretch of weather. Well, it’s all sunshine in the forecast for the next few days! I mentioned to my hubby that it would be smart of us to order our dirt and spend the next few evenings moving it, while the weather was cooperating.
Ask and you shall receive!!!
It’s almost like Christmas! No, wait… it’s almost as good as the Mother’s Day gift my hubby bought for me last year – the pressure washer was definitely the best gift ever. Dirt is a close second. Hauling dirt is a sweaty (and of course dirty) job, and we’ve barely made a dent in the pile. At least we have dry weather for a while!
Flowerworld to the rescue!
Every year my school friends and I do an art project with pussywillows. The trees are hard to grow in this area. I’ve heard that there is some disease that is wiping them out. Combined with our wet weather, these trees just aren’t seen very often in our area any more. Flowerworld sells cut stems by the bunch, so I ran out and bought a bunch for each teacher. I bought two for myself because I knew I wanted some for home.
It’s now officially Spring!
We are currently experiencing the 3rd rainiest March on record in the Seattle area. It goes without saying that I haven’t spent too much time on Springtime Garden Cleanup. Well, all of a sudden, our favorite weathermen predicted a dry weekend! The best news of all was that it actually happened! My hubby spent Saturday mowing, edging, cleaning up the deck, and filling the yard waste bin to the tippy top. Sunday, after church, it was my turn. I weeded every place that didn’t have shade. (I really wanted to be in the glorious sunshine.)
A couple of years ago I planted HUNDREDS of daffodils. See how well they are doing!
He’s my lone survivor. The squirrels were really happy that I planted their dinner for them.
My perennials are coming up and I should really decide if I need to divide any. It’s better to divide plants before they bloom. Any time I have divided plants later, I’ve killed all of the blooms.
My strawberries are happy in their new home too. My mom had a “problem” with growing too many berries in her yard. Seriously, how can that possibly be a problem? I happily dug them up and brought them home.
My Peonies are looking pretty good too! It’s hard to believe there will be flowers by May.
I’m not sure what I did wrong last year, but I managed to kill several of my blueberry bushes. Last week my friend, Diane, and I hit Flower World. They sell much more than flowers, so I found a new blueberry bush.
My least favorite job of Springtime Garden Cleanup is weeding and thinning the raspberries. I don’t know what it is about this area, but I just dread it. Well, now I don’t have to think about it for a while!
My Lilac trees are starting to show their leaves.
Sunshine’s Daylillies have managed to survive the pounding feet of a large dog.
(Sunshine is my mom’s
Bingo Buddy co-worker.)
It was so nice this weekend that my son even found a good spot to finish reading his book.
(Yes, I told him he had to read. It’s not his favorite thing, but he was enticed by the idea of reading in the sunshine.)
While I was working, I started thinking about this little area.
Last year there was a garden box there, where I grew most of my herbs. When we painted the deck, we noticed that the box was rotting. It had to go, and now it seems like a big empty space. I’ll have to do some thinking about that spot, because the look I have going on right now is just not cutting it.
Happy gardening, and if you are in the Seattle area, happy sunshine!
I love to garden.
Every year, right about this time, I start to go crazy. I’m dying for the rain to stop, the ground to thaw, and the huge mud puddles to evaporate away. I’m ready for the days to warm up a bit, the sun to come out, and I’m excited to get my hands dirty again.
I’m also really excited to not have to mop floor several times a day. Thank you, very much Mr. Laboradoodle. (Rain + Dirt + Big Fluffy Dog = Mopping)
I’m always looking at garden plans, but I’m never much of a planner myself, when it comes to gardening. That always surprises me about myself because I tend to be a planner, except when it comes to the garden.
When it comes to my garden, I plant whatever catches my eye at the garden center or replant whatever needs to be divided.
This year, I think things will be different.
I’ve been ordering seed catalogs and free planning guides online. Over the past few weeks they’ve been arriving in my mailbox. I do have to deal with taking myself off of their mailing lists after the catalogs arrive, but the small hassle is worth the large amount of inspiration.
This year, I know for sure what I want to plant.
I know the month I need to plant the seeds in.
I have a plan where I’d like to move any plants that need to be divided.
I even have a plan for those special little plants that don’t like our damp Springs and Early Summers.
I can’t wait to get started planting!
For now, I’ll have to settle for planning and dreaming.
But, it will be time for potatoes and peas before we know it, Friends.
Happy garden planning!
Holy Tomato Harvest!
We’ve had a pretty warm and dry summer, here in the Pacific Northwest. Normally, my tomatoes would rot right there in the garden, without even hinting at turning red.. Not this year! We’ve been eating tomatoes from the garden for at least a month now, and they are still going strong!
I’ll be packing sliced tomatoes in my daughter’s lunch tomorrow, having a few cherry tomatoes on my salad, and maybe having a caprese pasta salad for dinner. (My basil is pretty happy right now too, and that makes a great combination!)
Happy tomato picking!