Thursday, June 23, 2011

Squash House Garden Update

Another picture-heavy post here, so sit back, take your time and I hope you enjoy!
First of all, Mr. Squash wanted to say hello to you, dear readers!  He's relaxing on the patio with a Crystal Light after washing both cars in near 90 degree heat!  Don't you agree he deserves to rest?
Here is Barbara, the clematis we planted last year.  Last year she only had one bloom.  Now there are several open and many more to come! Below it is a bareroot tea rose called Calibra that I ordered from Territorial Seed this year.  It should open in a day or two and have beautiful, yellow and orange striped petals.

Moving clockwise around the backyard here are the first two raised vegetable beds.  All the seeds were planted on May 11th!  They are a sorry bunch due to our cold and wet spring!  Left is all lettuce and spinach and right is carrots, green onions and radishes.
Next we have celery, orange and green peppers and garlic which was planted last fall on the left and more celery and brussels sprouts on the right.  I never in a million years thought I could grow celery, but it's coming along quite nicely!
The last two raised beds are yellow bush-type summer squash and broccoli on the left and two different types of zuccini on the right.  In front are several lavender plants we just put in the ground, but they will most certainly fill up that entire area by next year.
Still going clockwise is rhubarb I planted last year - it's been moved 3 times, yet doesn't seem to mind! I'm told you have to wait until year three to eat the stalks.  Apparently it makes a stronger plant by doing so.  Our old potato tower is on the right - filled to the top now!  The rose in the left front is a miniature red rose - one of the largest miniatures I've ever seen!  See that neat, rusty sunflower to the right of the campanula (purple flowers)?  That's what we brought home from the garden area at Elephant Antiques!
The perennials are coming along well, but because of the nasty spring not as far along as I would like.

On front here is Aegopodium.  Since we bought the house it has never gotten over 2-3" tall.  This year it's nearly 24" tall and growing under the bricks and into the grass.  It will need a very severe dividing this fall.  The trellis you see in the background on the fence is supporting a Trumpet Vine that we hope will spread left and right across the fence.  To the left, if you click on the photo you can also see our new bird house!  Oh - and check out the herbs in the wine barrel in the backround!  I am totally amazed with their progress!
Here we have the blueberries which I wrapped in bird netting last night as they will begin to ripen soon.  We're worried more about the squirrels getting them than the birds.  They walk right up to the plants and just stare at the berries hoping to get them to ripen faster!  Behind them are Dahlias that are just beginning to come on.  There is also lots of room left up against the fence to plant.  Also the green grape on the left side of the trellis is doing well - the red one the right not so well, but now with warmer weather it should come on strong.
We've sort of haphazardly thrown things in this area.  So far so good.  All the violas on the right self-seeded from last year!
Last fall we cut the spireas here nearly down to the ground.  They are making a good comeback.  Lilacs that have already bloomed are the taller plants and the smaller ones with little white stickers are more dahlias.
Except for the two tomatoes in front and my Honeycrisp apple tree, this is a sorry area.  Again, seeds were planted on May 11th.  Of the at least dozen Blue Lake bean seeds on the left trellis I planted, only 4 have come up.  Cucumber is next to that and a few peppers sprinkled along the drip line.  Another Trumpet Vine is along the fence.

See that little plant in the cage in front (raccoon and cat protection)?  It's my poor little pumpkin.  If it survives, I left all that empty space for it to roam about.
Here is the front gate.  H. Bernard clematis on the left is all the way up to and over the trellis top, but yet to bloom.  On the right is my new Scent From Heaven climbing rose.
I finally nailed the garden next to the front door this year!  The window box is thriving with fuschia, creeping jenny, bacopa and coleus.
Moving to the left is lavender I planted last year, my new Oakleaf Hydrangea and next to the box plant the European Cranberry which has finished blooming and forming it's beautiful red berries for winter.
Here is the view from Mr. Squash's lounge chair!
Finally today, I thought I would show you a before and after.  The photo above was taken after our 100+ MPH windstorm in January of 2008.  The Blue Spruce on the left was broken about 12 feet up and the one on the right is broken off about 20 feet up. 
Here is that view today!  The maples trees are finally filling out...first year they sleep, then they creep and this is the year they leap!

I hope you enjoyed today's garden update!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Miscellaneous Monday!

Since my last post I have been "all over", in a manner of speaking!  A little of this and a little of that - least of all sewing I'm sorry to say,  but which will soon be remedied.
I have a few things to show you from around the yard - more to come after the lawn is mowed on Wednesday.  Mr. Squash and I prefer to put our best foot forward :>)
Two of our four new Hybrid Tea Roses have bloomed.  This is Black Magic.
Here is the entire plant.  Mr. Squash made sure we got a red rose - his favorite!
This is Tahitian Sunset.  I love tea roses for cutting!
The name of this escapes me at the moment - as soon as I click "post" I'll remember it!
Here is our gorgeous peony.  We were away when it was in it's prime - it's just about time now for some serious dead-heading.
What are these, you say?  They are garlic scapes!  We got some down at the Farmer's Market on Saturday.  I came home and realized that we must have some of our own on the garlic we planted last fall.  Sure enough, I picked a large bag of them yesterday!  They have a very mild garlic flavor and can be eaten raw, cooked alongside some fresh asparagus, in omelets - the possibilities are endless!  We had them last night in omelettes from a recipe I saw on Octoberfarm!
The bulk of our time the past week or so has been hunting for a new furniture refinishing project for Mr. Squash.  He thought an antique library table would be a great project and he can use it to tie flies on during the winter!  We looked all over our area but saw nothing that suited him.  So we hopped in the car and drove to the West side of the Cascades near where we used to live before retiring.  The city of Snohomish is full of fantastic antique shops.  We spent an entire day looking in every shop that had furniture, but all we could find were beautiful tables that had already been refinished.  At the last shop Mr. Squash asked the proprietor if he had any unfinished tables anywhere.  He said he was just getting ready to close up shop early and we could follow him home - 20 or so miles up the freeway to his warehouse.  And there it was!  This solid oak, Mission style table for half the price of the refinished tables we saw!
Take a close look -- in a couple of months you will see the gorgeous oak under the shabby surface it has now!

We had a really nice trip - saw some old friends and had a couple of nice dinners.  We were also surprised that so many people remembered us -- Starbucks, the quilt shop (that was a no-brainer - hee), the wild bird shop - and even Gold's Gym where Bob used to work out every day (the hotel provided him with a free pass for the day).  It was a little like Norm walking into the bar on Cheer's!!  We stayed in a little boutique hotel on the water and made stops at Trader Joe's and Whole Foods to stock up on the way home! 

Monday, June 13, 2011

Antique Secret Garden

Warning....this is a picture-heavy post so grab a cup of coffee or tea and join me on an incredible garden walk!

Last week I wanted to post a Squash House garden update, but our gardener is way behind in mowing the lawn due to an abundance of rain as of late, so it will have to wait a few more days!  Instead, I'm bringing you a garden Mr. Squash and I saw on Saturday!  We visited our favorite antique store in Oregon - The Elephant's Trunk - and came to find out the garden was open for the season!

One fellow is responsible for the entire garden and has been it's caretaker for some years now.  We were totally blown away by the creative vignettes and mix of perennials, annuals and antiques!  I know we came away with loads of inspiration - hopefully you will as well!

Mr. and Mrs. Dove welcomed us to the garden!
This is the kind of summer cooking I love to do!
What a lovely entrance to one side of the garden.
Hmm....wonder what the deer antlers are doing here?
Nature's best pest control - the Ladybug!
Lovely sitting area.
I love this little fountain, but decided not to take it home to further encourage our squirrel population!

Ideas everywhere you look!

The kind of deer you WANT to visit your garden!

Solitary reflection area.

I would never have thought to use an old baby carriage frame like this!

I hope everyone enjoyed this garden as much as we did!  We even brought something home from it that you will see in my next garden update!  I've also begun working on a bed quilt and will have some blocks to show you soon!