Blog Author
Jewell
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Recent Entries to this Blog Is It Really.....?
Posted: 16 Mar 2015
Flowers, Perennials and Weeds
Posted: 06 Oct 2014
Planted My First Fairy Circle
Posted: 29 Aug 2014
Winter Squash
Posted: 28 Aug 2014
Pot Garden and Hugelkultur in the Last Days of July
Posted: 30 Jul 2014

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Jewell's Blog

Ramblings from the Puget Sound


Is It Really.....?

Category: Ramblings | Posted: Mon Mar 16, 2015 12:18 am

Is it really almost the first day of spring?
Is it really raining after a week of gorgeous weather and work?
Are the dandelions really trying to go to seed before I've had a chance to do ant weeding?
Was it really October the last time I wrote in my blog?

The daffodils are blooming!
The magnolias are blooming!
The neighbors willow tree is chartreuse green!
The rain is heavy and the day is gray with the flowering trees bright!
Bright yellow
Bright white
Bright pink
Soft pink
Soft lavender

Lots of color with new grass, sweet dandelion leaves
Old blooms still bright from hellebores and heathers



Today's flowers ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )



Hellebores ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )

Where have the months gone?
Work is my joy as much as my garden. Like the garden there is always so much to do and so little time. Students I have been concerned about I have volunteered to tutor before school, making a busy day even fuller.

Laughing Yoga? Yes, a class a week. It has been interesting to see how your body and brain reacts to laughter even when it is forced. My exercise is gardening and laughter yoga now :D.

The benefits of laughter yoga are here if you are interested http://www.laughteryoga.org/english/laughteryoga/details/225. No jokes, just laughter. It is always interesting to see new people giving it a try. Laughing yoga is not what many think.

Have also entered into the world of aromatherapy. Accidentally introduced by staff that are very attached to a particular brand of essential oils. Never one to follow a lead or believe the preacher I have now a nice small library and apothecary to fit my needs. Another fun little hobby.

Well the Sun is trying to peek out for a moment, so will grab the trowel and see if a few weeds will relinquish their grip on the earth. Happy day to all.

This blog entry has been viewed 153 times


Flowers, Perennials and Weeds

Category: Starting and Maintaining the Garden | Posted: Mon Oct 06, 2014 3:12 am

Sometimes our favorite perennials become welcome and not so welcome weeds in our gardens. As our extended summer continues I was out moving two hydrengeas that were not working in the beds I had planted them in. Picked many of the blooms and brought them in.


( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )

A little color added to other bouquets in the living room.

The hydrengea plants were severely cut back to the ground and moved to other beds in the garden. Hopefully they will survive. I did a bit of weeding of perennials gone wild. The pink blooming strawberries, phlox, and lambs ears got tossed into the green bin. I have been doing lots of perennial moving and will undoubtedly be surprised next summer with where I have placed plants. Some may not survive, like last springs dahlias, and I'll wonder what the heck happened.

Also picked up a few sun-chokes at the farmers market. Planted them where I could enjoy the flowers and have the tubers for some winter digging. I like having cole crops in winter. There is always some security in having fresh food in the garden waiting to make a meal.

Living where I do winter gardening often is a great success, and just as often great dog food. ;D


Last edited: Mon Oct 06, 2014 3:15 am

This blog entry has been viewed 161 times


Planted My First Fairy Circle

Category: Starting and Maintaining the Garden | Posted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 4:49 pm

The bulbs were at Costco and in the past they have been exceptional so I found a bag I thought would add some spring color, crocus. After much deliberation and trying to visualize the garden bare ... an impossible task for me at the moment... I was about ready to give up. Then 'fairy circle' randomly popped into my mind.

I chose a large bare spot where we walk and sit with tables and chairs in the garden. The center area is not as heavily traveled by pets and humans. Not ideal for the bulbs, but ideal for viewing the little flowering gems. The dirt under the mulch was actually quite loamy and easy to dig. They are now buried and waiting. Think I will plant a few more little flower fairy circles.


Crocus for spring ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )





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Winter Squash

Category: Summer | Posted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 4:08 pm

The winter squash took over their bed, the adjacent woodland and blueberry beds, and were turn back from crossing paths in all directions. They even attempted to enter the shed. What a mess of mildewed vines, some finishing their cycle.



( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )



( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )



This morning I harvested a few of the hardened off squash. Marine air this morning and they keep suggesting showers but it has been an unusually dry, hot summer with consistent 80 degree weather.



( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )



( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )



The bees love the blooms which are still plentiful. Sometimes there are as many as six bees in a blossom. They come early in the morning when the cool temperatures make their flight look like it is in slow motion. The bees appear to be coating themselves in pollen since some slow flyers are golden in color. Amazing. I was careful harvesting the squash so that the vines could still provide blooms for the bees.



( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )


Funny thing is my husband and I are not big squash eaters. I'll keep some of the butternut (we love the texture and natural sweetness hot off the grill) and one or two others, but most are going to the food bank.



( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )





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Pot Garden and Hugelkultur in the Last Days of July

Category: Summer | Posted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 3:07 pm

My potted runner beans have suffered from insufficient watering.


Runner beans ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )
I reused potting soil from last year. The leaves had lacked the usual bright green and have had to supplement with epson salts. This seemed to be the miracle cure and helped them look healthy again. Of the two pots I replanted in old soil the pot with volunteer foxgloves in it looks the healthiest. The healthier pot doesn't have the die back like the one shown. I am thinking companion planting helped both for nutrients and shading the soil. It doesn't seem to dry out as quickly.

We have noticed all that greenery from the runner beans has a lot of moisture and has been a remarkable temperature control. The inside of the shack is usually a few degrees cooler inside because of the shade and cooling affect of the runner beans on the outside.


Base shows lack of watering ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )

I also planted up pots with beans, peas and kale. The plants are hiding my potting mess and are starting to provide meals. It is amazing what can be grown anywhere there is sun, soil, and water.

Ghetto pot garden ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )


Dinner ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )

Planting in pots has certainly given us some nice dinners of greens we wouldn't have had otherwise. I am curious to see how the kale does that is planted in the same pots as the green beans and peas in the ghetto garden.

I feel the Hugelkultur has been a success. Next year I will try to be more organized when planting it out though. This spring and summer I just kept sticking in seeds and starter plants until all the bare ground was filled. Now it is a hunt to find produce. In winter when I tidy and mulch I am also putting in some masonry bricks for stairs/steps in at least two areas. Right now I feel like I am climbing a mountain to reach some produce. It is a lot more ground space with the rise in elevation and I am too short to reach the top areas easily. Over all I feel it has been a success despite the dog digging up parts of the hill twice.

Here are some things growing on the Hugelkultur. Other veggies not shown are two varieties of kale and chard, walking onions, cabbage, all winter eats.


Hunting for lemon cucumbers. Lunch every day includes a few. ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )


Tomatoes. August eats ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )


Lots of mustard greens ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )


Cole crops ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )


Winter squash ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )


Lots of winter squash ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )



Bush beans ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )


The big bad green Hugelkultur mound.


Food in a pile ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )

Hope your gardening experiments are working out for you too.






This blog entry has been viewed 187 times


Living in a Temperate Climate: Don't Do This Any Where Else!

Category: Ramblings | Posted: Tue Jul 29, 2014 7:27 pm

It all started with a little watering.

Moved on to harvesting the floppy flowers of the elephant garlic (need to move those to the backs of the beds or under shrubs. The flowers are pretty but the leaves look ratty.) and a few more garlic bulbs.


Elephant garlic ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )

The lambs ears flowers were laying down.

Now I am beginning to feel guilty because the bees have been thick on the flowers of both. Oh well, there are already sooo many unweeded volunteers from earlier bee activity on flowers that their keepers should be happy.

Dear, oh dear. More dead heading of the phlox needed. Darn, I really should move them and find the path again.

Where's the shovel?

Yes, this plant can go there (dig, and move). And that plant plant can go there (dig, and move). How about another plant in that spot (dig, and move). Where the heck did that start come from? (dig, and move). Yeh gads, I've moved five clumps. That's enough for now. I have a hole to fill.


The pink flowering strawberries will soon fill in ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )


And gosh darn, those mini iris need to be thinned out of the path.


Mini iris need to be thinned out of path ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )

Guess that is enough for the moment. Got another chapter to read on my homework list.




Note:
Sorry for the poor photos but my iPad doesn't take good shots on sunny days.

Our weather has been in the high 70s F getting up to low 80s F on a really warm day. This means most of the day is generally cool and around 4PM it it's the high temperature for a half hour or so. Our evenings cool off to the low 50s although last night our low was 57.

My version for of a 'normal' summer in the south Puget Sound of Washington state has temps generally in the 60s with night dropping down into the 40s. Maybe a week or two all summer into the 70s with a day or two in the 80s. Rains spring until August. August through October being dry.

It is generally not this warm for extended weeks like this year. We have had over a month of delicious heat. Unfortunately it also makes our area prone to extreme fire danger.



This blog entry has been viewed 129 times


Textures and Colors

Category: Ramblings | Posted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 1:37 am

Today was the neighborhood garden walk and yard sales. Purchased a little oil painting of an abstract apple for my kitchen for $2. The painting needs a highlight or two in the right spots, but over all the colors were perfect for this room.


Funky abstract oil painting of apple ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )



It was fun seeing several yards where paths wind through flowers and veggies intermixed with fruit trees and bushes for focal points. Lots of wonderful edible landscapes a few with chickens artfully included. It is amazing what can happen in small spaces with creativity and amazing little or no grass. Unfortunately these little gardens are impossible to photograph, but I came away with a want list for a few more plants.



When I came home with the sky bright and unusual temps continuing in the 70s and 80s i couldn't help but notice the shadows. I have been also observing the textures of the garden. Here is a back corner I especially like in the shade garden.


Pallets, mirror, ivy, pigsqueak, ferns, bricks ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )

The autumn and native sword ferns play off the rounded leaves of the bergenia. The pallets mimic the silver of the bricks. Underneath is a planting of hostas and hellebores with entirely different textures.


Hosta fragrant bouquet ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )


Hellebores and dead nettle ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )



I was lucky to get a variety of silver leafed plumeria inter mixed with the regular. Separated it is a stand out in the shade. For comparison the old and the new.

Regular plumeria ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )


Silver variety plumeria ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )



The phlox are still blooming. They are needing regular deadheading as some plants are winding down.


( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )


( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )



The yellow flowers continue


( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )


( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )



And a few others too


Just beginning fall anemone ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )


Stargazer in hostas ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )


Calendula ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )



The shade and shadows make there own textures. Bamboo and winter squash shadows.


( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )


Winter squash bed ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )


Panorama of veggie and flower garden ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )



Even my old gargoyle has an aging texture...namaste.


Cast in shadows ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )




This blog entry has been viewed 155 times


Shinrin-yoku: “Forest Bathing”

Category: Ramblings | Posted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 2:23 pm

Found something new that scientists are just cuing in on but many gardener's have known forever. Being in nature has great benefits. They are saying that being among the trees is calming and pleasant. In Japan, they call it shinrin-yoku: "forest bathing." A fifty minute walk in the woods has wonderful healing qualities.

There are a number of studies showing higher cognitive abilities, immune boosting affects, lowered stress hormones (helps with depression and stress) and, lower glucose levels (for those with pre diabetic symptoms) and a handful of other benefits.

Have you had your dose of a woodsy walk?



Morning Meditation ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )

http://www.motherearthnews.com/natural-health/forest-bathing-ze0z1301zgar.aspx#axzz37pZ837Ne

http://www.americanscientist.org/issues/pub/a-walk-in-the-woods Just two of many articles on the web.

Last edited: Fri Jul 18, 2014 2:36 pm

This blog entry has been viewed 138 times


July Flowers

Category: Summer | Posted: Thu Jul 17, 2014 6:20 pm

Just a few blooms for 2014.


( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )



( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )



( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )



( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )



( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )



Helenium ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )



( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )



( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )



( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )



Nasturtiums in the squash ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )



Hydrenga ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )





This blog entry has been viewed 119 times


Gardening Updates: Phlox, Mini Roses, Huglekultur

Category: Starting and Maintaining the Garden | Posted: Sat Jul 12, 2014 4:09 pm

The garden is full of blooming phlox. I don't remember moving and dividing so many. The smell is delicious because they are everywhere. I didn't do the Chelsea chop on the phlox and wish I had. Many of the plants aren't as bushy as last year and tend to want to flop without supports.


Phlox and elephant garlic ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )


( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )


Shasta daisies with phlox in the background ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )


( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )



The Huglekultur is finally getting covered. I need to harvest the mustard greens. Tomatoes are always iffy, but are blooming. Maybe next year a row cover for part of the Huglekultur ??? The squash and cucumbers have taken off. There is also bush beans, kale, cabbage and chard inter planted on the Huglekultur. The dogs are grazing on their wheat grass daily from the back edges of the mound.


Huglekultur and picnic area ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )


Looking at the west narrow deep end of Huglekultur ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )



I also have a vertical ghetto garden going for peas and beans with some kale plants. Soon it will hide my garden bench and mess.


Ghetto pot garden ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )


Lastly an update on those miniature roses from the sale rack after Valentines day. In pots they have done well. Not minis any more but small. The flowers are even some what different. The biggest change was in the striped rose. It is so ugly I didn't even take a photo of it. lol The red and pink suffer from leaf drop due to black spot, but are my two favs.


( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )


( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )


The white and peach colored roses are lovely and seem more resistant to leaf loss maladies. They were also much later to start to bloom.


( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )


( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )


Now I have to decide on either keeping them in pots or finding a place in the garden for them.

Right now the berries need more picking so had better get out of the chair and get busy. It is going to be hot today. Happy gardening.


This blog entry has been viewed 124 times




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