Wednesday, April 28, 2010

What's Growin' on? Wednesday Garden Walk

We don't get a lot of visitors to the house. That could be the $10 per car plus $4 per passenger ferry fee or maybe just that we're well off the beaten path.  Either way that means I don't get to show off all my hard work and the beauty growing around my yard too often.  That's why I'm so glad to be able to share it with you here on my blog.

This week we've had a quite a bit of rain, so my gardening has been limited to the sunny and dry periods between April showers. I was able to spend a couple of afternoons in the sunny times out tending to some chores.

1 of 3 pea plantings throughout the garden
These peas have reached up to about 5 inches, so I'm pretty sure they would now be safe from the curious birds that had been uprooting them.  I removed the recycled fish net covering that had been protecting them from probing beaks and fashioned a trellis from part of this netting.  Now they've got some thing to hang onto as they reach ever higher toward the sun.  No flowers yet, but it's just a matter of time.  We've got the bee house nearby so there are lots of little pollinators ready when they do come into bloom.

Over wintered celery
I removed the netting from another pea planting.  On this one I just tossed the netting up on this big granite boulder that is the centerpiece of our vegetable patch.  I'm hoping those peas and some nasturtiums I planted will just vine up the net onto that big rock.  In that same bed I have the June bearing strawberry starts that I planted last fall and my celery that I overwintered.  I've been told by other local gardeners that it's common for celery to take 2 years to maturity around here.  It's growing up nice thick stalks this year so I'm hopeful to have a good harvest.  With store bought celery, the harvest is made of the entire plant, but in the home garden it makes more sense to selectively harvest stalks as needed, so that is what I plan to do.  

Recycled fishnet to stop curious critters
I have tried growing sunflowers each year that we've lived here but never had a single flower or plant.  This year, determined to have some sunny color in the garden I've planted a mixed batch in this container.  I'm using the netting here to keep those hungry chipmunks and birds from getting the seeds before they have a chance to sprout up.  We've got feeders all around the yard, but for some reason they LOVE to eat the freshly sprouted seeds from the garden.  It must be a tasty treat for them.  Of course I can't rationalize with the wild life, but if they are patient, they'll get a whole lot more food if only they let these sunflowers bloom!

The last frost date for my area is sometime around the end of March, so it was time to open up the greenhouse cover on the original boat garden.  You can see from the photo that everything in there is growing like crazy!  It's so fun to have a little head start on Mother Nature by using a greenhouse covering.  

From the boat we're already harvesting lettuce I planted last September!  I made Lummi Island reef net salmon sandwiches with homemade tarter and oak-leaf lettuce from our garden this week for a special 90% local lunch.

The new lettuce I planted a month ago is sprouting up for our future salads.  With lettuce and other salad greens I try to put in a small new planting every 3 or 4 weeks.  This allows us to have different plants ready to eat at different times and keeps our salad bowl full all summer long.  

Another reason I needed to get the cover off of our boat is the strawberries.  They've begun to bloom!  The plants are looking very healthy and are at least twice the size of our other strawberry plants that weren't under protective cover.  They have more than double the blooms too!  The only thing they need now is some exposure to pollinators and sunshine.   The boat garden greenhouse project is such a success that we are planning to enclose all of our raised beds this fall and reap the benefit of extra early and late season harvests throughout the garden.

I did have a few visitors in the garden this week, but they were friends of the feathered variety.  This wild pigeon came back to visit.  He and his little family live in the woods behind our house and I hear them in mornings and evenings cooing away.  It's a very soothing pretty sound.  The coloring on these is much like a "city" pigeon, gray with blue/green incandescence, but unlike their cousins, these birds are shaped more like a dove and have a distinctive squared off beak and neck ring.  I don't know if these guys are one of my pea pickers, but they do come and feed at our feeders.

And one last bird item from the garden.  In case you missed this on Facebook.  I keep one hummingbird feeder under cover on our front porch and the little birds flock to it on rainy days.  Here's a real short video I shot of them on one of the wet days this week,

Thanks for tagging along on my weekly garden tour.  Come back next Wednesday and see what's been growing on this week. 


  1. Beautiful work! I love the way your garden is arranged all throughout the yard (so far as I can tell) making use of nooks and crannies and corners and good sunlight spots vs. shade spots.

    It looks incredible and I know it was a lot of steady work, investment and attention.

  2. My husband was delighted at you Hummingbird film :-) I showed him because he is fond of Birds. I hope you get all the lovely crops you are hoping for.

  3. Can't wait for my hummers to come back, should be within a week or so. Thanks for sharing all of this with us!

  4. Thank you ladies! I really love my yard. It's true it has been a lot of steady hard work, but it's so worth it. I have learned a lot about planting things in the right spot from this garden/yard because each spot is different soil, shade & rockiness.

    I'm so crazy about the little hummingbirds that frequent my feeders. This last week I've had to fill the feeders each morning because there are so many "diners"


Questions? Comments? I'd love to hear what you think!


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