Monday, June 28, 2010

weekend chores: done

this weekend was super hot, but i still managed to log about 8 hours either gardening and/or doing random yardwork. i have big time weeds, so i spent a couple hours filling two trash cans and a small recycling container with weed tree cuttings, bermuda grass clumps and out of control morning glory and porcelain berry vines. i also took the pansies off of the front porch and put them into the composter...i refilled the self-watering planters with chartreuse and black sweet potato vines, and anticipate adding fuschia mini petunias in the very near future. all the potted plants were mulched with the shredded remains of the old red oak. the front door mattes were cleaned as was the porch, with a broom, dustpan and finally a hose. i split the grasses between two pots on the front porch and two on the shed steps...they also were mulched, as were the blueberry plants up there. 
four eggplants and 4 basil were planted in the newly turned west side bed,and all of the volunteer mini yellow pear tomatoes were tied up.

how to deal with bamboo

i have bamboo shooting up in the northeast corner of my yard, and i need help in getting it out. now i know what to do with it once i cut it down: build a bench!
beware of sharp corners, though.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

garden center

 went  to home depot this morning to get vermiculite and peat, and one soaker hose for the square foot garden...ended up spending $ two flats of sweet potato vines for the porch planter boxes as well as black elephant ears for the front garden ...surprisingly, everything is in the ground.

sunday garden events

coast to coast garden events to keep you cool today...
newport flower show 
check out the african- inspired flora and fauna 

mcminnville garden club's annual summer garden tour and faire find a big, flowery hat and head to mcminnville, oregon for fun in the garden...and shopping...maybe you'll even see a ufo.

hunt institute open house
need an update on your botanical preservation knowledge? head to carnegie-mellon sunday, 1:00 pm-5:00 pm for the 411.

potomac lily society show
check out the winners in the visitor's center at brookside gardens, 9-5.

Friday, June 25, 2010

deer in the hood

this is what i saw while walking the dog today

flower power

my first sunflower of the season is a volunteer.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

summer sizzle

sizzling to say the that the big red oak is gone, there is no shade anywhere in my garden. would not have helped today though: that reading above @ 98° was under thick cloud cover right before the rain...which dissipated before it got to my house. damn.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

unusual heat

we have been experiencing an unusually hot june. thankfully, i shot these photos of my garden flowers last week before they all melted today...

Saturday, June 19, 2010

how to find your farmer's markets

it is hard to walk 100 yards without running into a farmer's market these days, no matter what day of the week it is: thank goodness! if you cant find yours though, log onto, plug in your zip and viola: location revealed!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

capitol riverfront market

stock up on fresh, locally grown veggies as well as delicious prepared foods at the capitol riverfront market today and every thursday through november, 3-7pm. 

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

how NOT to get rid of poison ivy plants

poison ivy can be a prolific pain in the garden, but manageable, with a little forethought. i wear long pants with socks and a long sleeve shirt while pulling out the early spring runners through a plastic bag that covers my rubber gloved hands...i drop the pulled weed into a large bag draped over a bucket for easy portability and disposal. hairy vines get snipped as close to their base as possible and i let the foliage die back on its own. i also leave some poison ivy vines alone -the ones that are climbing close to my yard, but not in it- because poison ivy provides amazing autumnal colors to the landscape. easy enough, right? well, not according to yesterday's featured wikihow post on how to get rid of poison ivy. the article/advertisement was about the supposed correct way to use round-up and other like endocrine disrupter herbicides. round-up may be effective on killing the innocuous ivy, but it also kills other plants, seeps into the ground water, does not dissipate as described, possibly is killing honey bees, and if it doesnt kill you, it will kill your children and/or please dont use it. despite the heavy marketing of this poison and round-up-ready-seed (available only commercially now, but you may end up eating the product), and claims to the contrary, round-up is evil and should not be used, sold or purchased. if you need to really be convinced, watch the pbs documentary poisoned waters: it (sadly) lays it all out.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

modern garden design

this amazing contemporary garden is near my parents' place in pacific heights: it is awesomely modern and apparently huge: there seem to be endless rooms and a lot different textures. i would love to go to big cocktail party here...maybe in the fog!

Monday, June 14, 2010

crack an egg...grow a plant

while looking for a cool gift for my new nephew (number 18) i found this great site- -that caters to the contemporary child. i got alex a drum set (and a banjo) but i also loved this eggling planter: so cute and educational, too!

garden house

what a great idea: design the house around the garden! the inhabitants of this little house must be big-time gardeners because every aspect of design and fabrication is oriented towards the greenery. the garden house's trellis siding will eventually be covered in vines...there's a two story winter garden hidden in one of the walls...but dont plan on a shade garden: there is no north face due to the house's triangularity.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

container gardening

this year i tried something different in the garden: i planted every seed i owned! yeah: i am a hoarder of seeds because i buy a pack of 1000 seeds and plant six..then i have leftovers...lots of leftover seeds. so this year i decided to plant everything: every last seed. i now have (50) feet each of 12 types of pumpkins sprouting...9 varieties of winter squash ready to plant... italian parsley, sweet basil, swiss chard, arugula, radishes, chives, leeks, mixed greens, sweet, snap and snow peas , zucchini, fennel and dill in the square foot garden: all erect...eggplants (what?), multiple sweet, hot and decorative peppers growing varieties of heirloom tomatoes including yellow pear minis...and sweet potatoes. speaking of potatoes: in the potato bags i have russet and fingerlings ready to bear babies, plus random blues and yukon golds ready to go. the strawberry and blueberry pots are doing their thing...and, oh: the onions...i have lots of spring onions. it truly is better to have a successful small garden than an unsuccessful large garden. no need for salad  greens for months...if not years, if i get it together. i just hope i can maintain this fantastic supply chain!!! note to self: buy deep freezer asap.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

how not to install a stone wall

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stone is wonderful and versatile design element for commercial buildings, residences and their gardens: it can be modern or ancient, rough or smooth, big or small, or any combination of those attributes. i love stone! so when i saw the wall below, i just had to say something...something like "what the hell were you thinking? or doing at the time of installation?" how can something made from beautiful parts end up so ugly? i dont know, but this stone guy has done this same lame stone wall on three main street buildings...and he puts a sign out front to tell everyone the name of the company that installed this travesty of design and execution! the worst part about this particular wall is there is a "matching" stone wall flanking the other side of the door, except he used too many stones on that one, thus leaving this side wanting for more. please dont try this at home: so sad!

Friday, June 4, 2010

rose garden

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i have about 10 rose plants left in my garden...i used to have over 50, but when they built the house next door, more than 40 of my lovely plants were bull-dozed without warning: one of them was a huge heirloom that my 90-year old neighbor said had been planted back in the 20's! i cant remember the names of the various varieties i still have- or maybe i never knew them- but i love each and every one of them! i trace my affection for roses back to my roots in berkeley where i played in the rose garden almost everyday.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

how to kayak quickly

managed to get a good paddle in before the storms hit...the desire to not get hit by lightning is a motivating factor to move as quickly as possible.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

how to grow moss

moss is so lush-looking!
my neighbors' yard has a north facing front yard and almost every inch of it is covered in some form of moss: it's a great look to me!
of course, if you really wanted flowers or foliage, you would be out of luck because most plants couldn't deal with the lack of nutrients that most mosses thrive in. you could haul in compost and other soil amendments...fertilize and baby your precious transplants...soak in an epsom salts bath after all of your back-breaking labor
...or you could let mother nature create a beautiful tapestry for mr. toad.
grow your own moss on most anything porous by pureeing 1 part moss with 2 parts buttermilk or yogurt (forget the urine, ok?) and applying it to your desired future moss-y surface (and water to thin)... or make graffiti with it...takes about six weeks to appear.