We are enjoying the sweet cherry tomatoes from the garden. Proof: they rarely make it to a salad because they are delightful finger food. The green beans are yummy too as long as I catch them before they get too big.
My garden also had discouraging moments this season-I guess I am not as “seasoned” as I want to be. The cukes and squash needed some serious help and even the tomatoes are not up to their normal yield. It makes me SAD so I try not to think about it.
I have decided to stretch growing again this year. I have in the past brought plants in and used a Grow Light but this year I am in a different house. It has a sunroom with windows along one side and a cement floor. Can’t hang a light-the windows leak somewhat and I’m sure I would have neighbors wondering about the Grow Light-but I am going to try some cool weather crops in there this winter.
I refer to this room as “The Bottle Depot” because there are colored bottles on the shelves inside the glass windows and it seems the whole town brings over their colored bottles to display when they are through with them. And what do I hear all the time? “Oh, you live in that house? I wondered who lived there.” Note that I am always left to wonder if that is a good or a bad thing.
I pulled all the apples I could reach from the trees today and I will need to send my daughter skimming up the trunk too. When the apples fall, the seagulls are getting them. Yes, I live by the beach and the birds aren’t really bad creatures (so says my dog who loves to chase them out of the yard).
But I don’t need anymore messes to clean.
Yippee-there is still time to get to the garden events! Perhaps you should bring your umbrella to these wonderful events that are braving the fall weather—just in case.
SEPTEMBER/SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 27/28, 2008
9:00-3 PM. Fence-building Workshops with the Portland Japanese Garden. Reservations required and space is limited-please call (503) 542-0280. Lunch not included-participants are encouraged to bring a sack lunch. Conducted by Head Gardener Michael Kondo, with Virginia Harmon, Director of Grounds Maintenance, assisting, this two-day workshops provides background information on bamboo fence building as well as hands-on practice.
SATURDAY, September 27, 2008
2:30-4:00 PM. Meet at Molbaks with Ciscoe Morris, Willi Evans Galloway and Don Marshall as they hold a panel discussion on “What we Plant Today will Make a Huge Impact Tomorrow”. Topics will include: Why is Fall for Planting?, The Latest Fall Garden Trends, How to get Your Gardens Ready for Winter, How your Gardening Practices Impact the Environment, Wildlife and Your Neighbors and Favorite Fall Plants. Molbaks is at: 13625 NE 175th St., Woodinville, WA 98072. Email email@example.com or call 425-483-5000 for more info.
10:00 AM -Class on bulbs with Dennis’ Seven Dees (formerly Raintree), Seaside, OR at the Cannon Beach Junction. Call 503-738-6980 for more information.
SUNDAY, October 28, 2008
10:00 AM- Vivacious Viburnums with Dorothy Rodale at the Portland Nursery, 5050 SE Stark.
WEDNESDAY, October 1, 2008
11:00 AM-Noon. Free Demonstration at Molbaks of Front Entry Harvest Decorating by Heather and Michelle at the event stage. From our everlasting department, they will be featuring gourds, pumpkins, fall leaves, wheat sprigs, wreaths and swags along with garden accents and container plants. Molbaks is at: 13625 NE 175th St., Woodinville, WA 98072. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 425-483-5000 for more info.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 2, 2008.
7:00 PM- Plant Amnesty: Information: 206-783-9813; “Weighty Matters Meeting — How To Protect Seattle’s Heritage Trees”: All interested people are invited to see what (if any) changes should be made to the Heritage Tree Program, and what recommendations should be made to the City of Seattle regarding tree preservation. Arboretum Greenhouse, near Visitor’s Center, 3501 N.E. 41st St., Seattle.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2008.
10:00 AM-1:00 PM- Lake Washington Technical College Horticulture Department shows perennials, and shrub starts grown by students of LWTC’s Environmental Horticulture Program including geraniums, hostas, rosemary, succulents and more, 11605 132nd Ave. N.E., Kirkland. 425-739-827
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2008
11:00 AM-Noon. Workshop at Molbaks- Fall Maple Leaf Door Swag. Fee $30.00. Dress up your front door for fall with an original! Make your own door swag using assorted maple leaves, wheat sprigs and colorful ribbon. Our own Heather Smith will take you through the steps to make this seasonal adornment. Sign up early. This will be a popular class!
3:00 PM-First Ever Northwest Perennial Alliance Fall Plant Sale – Bellevue Botanical Garden, 12001 Main Street, Bellevue. This sale is a special fundraiser, with all proceeds benefiting the renovation of the NPA Border. Most plants for the sale will be from the Border, so this is a chance for you to take home a bit of Border history.
10:00 AM-2:00 PM-Seattle Rhododendron Society: a sale of unique species and hybrids to provide funds for monthly meetings, lectures and gifts to regional Rhododendron gardens, Center for Urban Horticulture, 3501 N.E. 41st St. 206-363-1417. email@example.com.
10:00 AM-4:00 PM. Celebrate Food and Farming at 21 Acres: 13701 N.E. 171st St., Woodinville. 425-788-9846. Celebrate Food and Farming: Activities for the whole family including guided tours and interaction with farmers and gardeners, demonstrations, interpretive areas, and food tastes fresh from the farm.
10:00 AM-ReLeaf Seatle at Swanson’s Nursery. Join us as we welcome City Arborist, Nolan Rundquist, to learn more about Tree Selection; Planting; and Care. Under the new Urban Forest Program, Seattle plans to greatly increase its forest canopy over the next 30 years. Home owners are an important part of this program. The city is offering free educational opportunities such as this 90 minute class to encourage residents to plant beautiful and appropriate trees, and to promote success in growing them. Find Swanson’s at 9701 15th Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98117.
OCTOBER 3 & 4, 2008
10:30 AM-King County Master Gardener Foundation Talk: Master Gardener Demonstration Garden, 15500 S.E. 16th St. Bellevue. Information: Mary Osborne, 425-485-5942. Winter Ornamentals. King County Master Gardener training: Applications for the 2009 program must be postmarked by Oct. 3. Information: goto.seattlepi.com/r1682.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 5, 2008
10:00 AM-3:00 PM- Washington Park Arboretum is featuring spring-blooming bulb selections, companion plants and garden accessories. Washington Park Arboretum’s Graham Visitors Center, 2300 Arboretum Drive E. 206-325-4510.
1:00 PM- Container Garden Inspirations at Swanson’s Nursery. Garden designer Wendy Welch creates stunning containers with plants that are beautiful year round. Be inspired by her slide presentation and examples of plants combinations that will thrive in your own containers. Find Swanson’s at 9701 15th Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98117.
OCTOBER 10-12 and 17-19, 2008
10:00-5:00 PM. 21st Annual Apple Tasting with Portland Nursery, 5050 SE Stark. Over 40 varieties of apples and pears available for tasting and purchasing. Fridays are “Kid Days” with kid entertainment, samples and tasting until 5PM. Saturdays and Sundays, live music is planned. Storytelling and cooking demonstrations also scheduled. Loads of fun!
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2008
9:30 AM, 11:30 AM and 1:30 PM. KIDS Workshop at Molbaks on Flowering Bulb Planning. Ages 5-10 years with parents. Fee $5.00. Limited space. Kids will learn how to plant their bulbs in a garden pot and care for them until they bloom in the spring. Supplies provided. Register online or by phone at 425-398-5151. Leave your name, child’s name, session time requested and email address. We will confirm your registration via email.
10am – Batty about Chiroptera at Swanson’s Nursery. Just in time for Halloween Bat Specialist Barbara Ogaard introduces us to charming little creatures with a scary reputation. Barbara shares wonderful anecdotes and fascinating facts about these much-maligned mammals. Learn the benefits of integrating bats into your garden and the thrill of Gothic Gardening! Find Swanson’s at 9701 15th Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98117.
1pm - Container Design for Patios and Small Spaces at Swanson’s Nursery. Garden designers, and Curators of the Dunn Garden in Seattle, Glenn Withey and Charles Price are well known for remarkable plant combinations and their strong design aesthetic. A patio or balcony small garden space is increasingly a pleasing part of the urban landscape. Plants in containers can define this private space, focus attention, and create a welcome splash of color and texture. Learn essential points of design and plant selection from this well respected team, and leave with the confidence to create a stunning container garden in your own small space. Find Swanson’s at 9701 15th Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98117.
NOTE: Swanson’s has extensive list of classes for the Fall. See complete list.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2008
1:00 PM and 2:00 PM-Join us in the Tea Garden of the Portland Japanese Garden for a demonstration of tea prepared by Kashintei Kai.
SATURDAY OCTOBER 25, 2008
1:00 PM- Lecture with Lucy Hardiman at Lakewold Gardens.12317 Gravelly Lake Drive SW, Lakewood, WA. Door prizes and refreshments. NPA members free/nonmembers $5. Click here for more information on Lucy Hardiman.
It’s time to introduce a fan of mine-and trust me, the feeling is mutual. He is Joe Gardener, well-known for his TV gardening shows, books, seminars and following. In fact, he spent much of last year teaching at garden shows.
Joe and I love to bounce ideas off of each other and he is well versed in green gardening, living and sustainability so automatically he gets an A+ in my book. He gets a second A+ because he then takes those ideas and teaches the rest of us. How can you color greener than that? It’s what society did before such widespread educational facilities were available-they learned and had a responsibility to pass it on.
This year, I looked at the pile of branches in my yard with total dismay. Yes, there is a an approved dumping spot down the road and I do mean dumping spot-the stuff just sits there-but I was sad with the thought of just dumping it there and making that particular spot in the neighborhood look bad. Besides, my kids and I had really been discussing how we could re-use things more and therefore buy and waste less.
I was seriously thinking about stripping the leaves, chopping the branches up and tying it all together (with…vines?) to form a raft (OK, so I watched “Castaway” the week before) when Joe came to my rescue.
He recommended using a wood chipper or shredder-an electric model to be the most eco-friendly.
But then of course, I wondered if I would have to dump the pile of chips in the approved dumping spot down the road.
“Nah, there’s another option,” he said. “Believe it or not, tree and shrub prunings contribute about 25% of yard and garden waste. That’s about 8 million tons a year! Don’t dump the chips!”
Joe recommended either composting the chips, or using them as mulch. Either way, they go back into the yard eventually to help your other plants.
Back to nature, my friends.
If you don’t have a wood chipper, ask around. After all, part of using your resources wisely is asking-and learning-to share your toys.
I need an easy way to stir compost. Right now I have it in a big plastic garbage can and it is too hard to turn. Any ideas?
Dear Compost Canning-
You have set yourself up for a hard job. Other than finding a very secure lid and rolling the can around the yard fifty times or digging in with a shovel (PU), it will be hard to turn your compost. I would recommend that you invest in a compost barrel with a turning system. It is well worth the investment when all you have to do is add some water and crank a handle. And it may save your back, as well.
I can’t wait for the Northwest Flower and Garden Show in February. When will the speaker list be available?
Dear um…Hot for the Show-
Soon! The team at the Garden Show is working incredibly hard right now to bring you the best of the best! Sign up here to be emailed when the speaker schedule is listed. For those who are wondering, the Northwest Flower and Garden Show is in Seattle every year (at the BEAUTIFUL Washington State Convention Center), and is the third largest Garden Show in North America! That’s quite the feather in a cap. The great thing is, the ticket prices are SO LOW for what you get. I’m talking free seminars with the experts and garden celebs (Ciscoe Morris is a hoot), plants galore and education extraordinaire. The show gardens are an incredible treat. Mingling with the best in the business is fun, as well. Last year they even had a Women’s Fitness Pavilion where we got free bone density scans, blood sugar monitoring, etc. Hope to see you at the show, which runs February 18-22, 2009.
For help with this topic, I consulted with Green and Save. Charlie and his wife renovated a home to make it environmentally friendly, including their yard. By the way, with the entire project, they saved over $100,000.00—so far. Very cool.
Here is what they accomplished to make their yard, garden and landscaping eco-friendly:
We planted over 500 trees, shrubs and perennials from local grown nurseries to create habitats for a mass range of wildlife. (The property is on 1.1 acres).
- We used recycled tire mulch as one of over 60 eco-elements to the project.
- We transplanted many of the existing trees and shrubs that were at risk from the renovation. Charlie’s tip after transplanting dozens of plants: Mix the peat moss and some compost manure in with the existing soil and then add ‘root stimulant’ and water thoroughly and regularly.
We diverted the ruble that was enroute to landfills from demolished buildings to use as the base for our driveway and patio.
As awareness of green building/landscaping increases more, homeowners, builders, and product manufacturers are getting interested so we supported them in our efforts.
We had our garden shed and kitchen cabinets built right near our region out in Lancaster County rater than down in North Carolina or over in China. It saved energy, gas and transportation costs.