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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


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

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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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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.


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Thrift Store, Huglekultur, Bokashi, Mutants and More

Category: Starting and Maintaining the Garden | Posted: Tue Jun 24, 2014 6:28 pm

Have spent the last week painting and weeding and digging. Even made a couple of trips to the thrift store. Everything goes slowly as I wander from one task to another with many thoughtful or is it thoughtless moments. The perfect life to be sure.

The thrift store provided a third chair for the smoke shack. With less than 60 square feet it now provides comfortable seating for three. I still believe I could get a fourth chair in, but hubby wants plenty go room for the heater and old table in the last corner. The fourth person will have to sit on the ottoman...if they can squish in.



New chair for smoke shack ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )


The other seating ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )




Ciara took a moment to excavate the Huglekultur. Some city critter had obviously caught her attention and she moved some of the soil to reveal huge open spaces within the mound. There had obviously been a great deal of settling. This forced me to continue leveling (removing soil) from another area to use as fill around some of the logs in the Huglekultur.

What was intriguing to me was one of the logs on top that was only half buried. Some mustard greens I had planted were well rooted through the dirt into the bark of the log. The log was full of moisture and quite heavy for its size. The tomatoes seem to be doing well, but haven't set fruit. The cucumbers, squash and bush beans are coming along. Whatever is produced will be gratefully appreciated, even if it just turns out to be green manure. This first spring is just an experiment since it should have been started the previous fall or summer for everything to settle.


Huglekultur with Buddy in foreground ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )



Greens, etc. on Huglekultur ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )


Tomatoes on the Huglekultur ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )



Have a couple of mutants that cause a bit of reading and curiosity on my part. The first is a hosta. When I bought it it was just like the two in front. The first year I planted it more in the sun and the color changed. I had thought it was because of the sunlight. When I moved it to the shade early this spring it retained the large blue with smaller cream pattern. It is the hosta in the far back. It is hard to believe they all looked exactly the same at one time. I find hostas intriguing. With the thousands of varieties and hundreds of species and all the cross breeding being done it is totally mind boggling and small wonder the poor plants can't decide what color they are.


Mutated hosta... ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )


My other variation of a plant is a plumeria clump. One plant in the clump has a very silver leaf rather than the spotted variety. I will be separating it from the clump this week. It is so pretty I was thinking of giving it a pot of its own.



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


Now for the update on one of my other experiments, bokashi. The dogs love it no matter what I do to hide it and will dig it up no matter how deep I plant it. Like blood meal not an easy organic to use if you live with animals in a city full of critters. My other purchase from the thrift store were two metal pails with locking lids. Layers of dirt and bokashi pickled house scraps went into the buckets. We will see if they turn to compost in a few weeks. If not this may not be a viable solution for this household.

On a brighter note the miniature rose I got off the sale rack after Valentine's Day are blooming and good sizes bushes.


Bicolored mini rose ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )



Red mini rose ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )



My favorite mini rose ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )




My favorite combinations in the garden at the moment



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



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



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


I will close with my last thrift store purchase. May your day have many peaceful moments woven into it.


A last little thrift show find (first frost and blue mouse ears hostas in planter) ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )



















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June Garden

Category: Starting and Maintaining the Garden | Posted: Fri Jun 06, 2014 6:39 am

The miniature bearded iris were all moved to the front yard. I removed pavers to plant them in the patio area. I lost three varieties this spring because of the plants being new with incredibly heavy rains this spring. I had hoped to save some but only one looks like it might recover from the rot. Of the three two were reblooming varieties. Only the yellow one was unaffected. The front yard is the driest area with fairly sandy soil. All the transplanted iris look good and only one wilted from the move.

The foxgloves are in bloom. They are quite short this year. No twelve foot monsters. Many are only two feet and most are four to five feet. I am very pleased with the woodland garden. Am having a small garden party on Saturday. The tables are in place and the winter dirt has been scrubbed off. Just a few friends over for sandwiches and conversation.


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

The woodland garden has really grown and is a pleasure able place to listen to the morning bird songs. Here is a walk around. Hope you have your favorite beverage in hand.




Patriot hostas ( 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 )






( 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 )



I never knew that hostas had such variety. Hundreds of species and thousands of varieties. To top it off they sport and can self seed. What an incredible plant. Too bad it sleeps half the year.



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





Last edited: Fri Jun 27, 2014 6:09 pm

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Base of Huglekultur Completed

Category: Starting and Maintaining the Garden | Posted: Tue May 27, 2014 1:23 pm

Spent three days of adding bricks and moving soil attempting to level the ground on the north side of the huglekultur this long weekend. Because of the slope of the land it took a few more bricks than I imagined. Good news is "all miscellaneous bricks from around the yard are now in use".

I am hoping that the extra dirt thrown on top of the Huglekultur will take care of a few hiding slugs. The slugs feasted on the four pots of cucumber starts I initially planted. I have several other pots waiting on my potting bench, but I will wait until the plants are much bigger before setting them in the ground. I did scatter seeds for several variety of greens. The sunflower seeds are also planted. I put them along the fence in the new narrow bed on the north side of the Huglekultur. (The sunflowers are where the bent bamboo stakes are.)


Looking toward the house from far corner ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )






Newly finished Huglekultur ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )



I still have a good deal of leveling and dirt hauling to do. My potting bench is sitting on a slope and I have a few more shutters to put together to help hide the clutter. I am satisfied with my progress and just wish I had more days off to complete this corner of the yard.

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The Hugekultur Bed

Category: Starting and Maintaining the Garden | Posted: Sat May 17, 2014 3:30 pm

The area was once a little shady spot filled with plants


Filbert shade garden prior to removal ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )

In the previous posts you can see the mess that was left. I am still struggling with tidying up this area, containing the Hugelkultur leveling the area. It was a lot of work just moving a variety of ferns, and hellebores. I have moved my blue potting bench into the area and it houses pots of seeds sprouting for the Hugelkultur and the other area covered in cardboard that is also in transition from shade to veggie garden.


Sixth Month Marker of Hugelkultur ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )

So far I've only planted three tomato plants at the base and scattered nasturtium seeds over the top to cover up the ugly for this summer. I still have to level around the back and that dirt will finish covering the wood and logs on the back side. So far it has been a good solution for a huge eye score that would have cost a bunch and put organic matter in the land fill. One day it may be a great big raised veggie bed.




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The Answer Is.....Hugelkultur

Category: Starting and Maintaining the Garden | Posted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 3:58 pm

Ever since we took out the filberts last summer I have struggled with moving plants I wanted to save and how best to transition this 15' x 20' section of yard. A rich man would have had the stumps ground down and all the wood hauled off or neatly put into proper lengths for the wood stove and stacked. Well that is not going to happen.


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


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

Right now we are living with the ugly. I am pawning off fern leaf bleeding hearts by the box load and watching out for filbert sprouts from the stumps. Luckily one of the stumps was dead from the filbert blight. Unfortunately the other two are languishing under covers of cardboard, dirt and logs too long to go in the wood stove.

Having a little vacation from work has provided me with opportunities to actually read some of the blogs I subscribe to and there was my answer (big, huge smile from ear to ear). A blog by Erica entitled "Half-Ass Hugelkultur".
http://www.nwedible.com/2012/03/half-ass-hugelkultur.html

Hers was the spark that lead to checking out this idea. Wonder of wonders I already have the base started. I now have a vision for the area...well still half baked, but the idea is developing. I'll continue to mull over the logistics, but everything I have read makes perfect sense. Now like Erica I will have to find a way to pretty it up after the foundation is laid. Maybe bricks to outline the base and definitely mulch to cover the top surface. Humm...what are your gardening plans for this summer?

Last edited: Sat May 17, 2014 3:31 pm

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ReDoing, Creating, Maintaining Garden Beds and Paths

Category: Starting and Maintaining the Garden | Posted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 6:25 am

Mild weather has helped me to trek out into the yard. With the filbert trees gone....kind of (still have large trunks to deal with) I started planning beds. Moved a lot of hellebores, ferns, and trilliums last summer fall. The trouble is I am not sure exactly where I moved every plant and found a few in unexpected spots. Then as I was organizing last summers photos I realized I had moved/planted a skimmia japonica almost on top of a hosta. Will wait until spring to find out exactly how close.


Hostas during summer ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )


Skimmia moved to same bed..oops ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )

Got cardboard and mulch covering the one almost emptied bed. There was a lot of sweet woodruff that is being smothered. There was a path running through this area so I hope to have two veggie garden beds dividing it along the old path. Two blueberry bushes were placed in a front corner where hellebores, Pacific bleeding hearts, still live.


Remade woodland bed for veggies ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )

Should move another large sword fern to continue the bed redo. It is just a lot of heavy work so I am procrastinating. Would give me one more place for another blueberry bush.

The filbert trunks were drilled, holes filled with epson salt, and covered to block out all light. They look awful. I wanted to uncover one and see if it was working, but will forgo the impulse until late spring or I have lots of extra energy.

Last summer I started collecting cinder blocks for a raised bed. I laid out the ones I have to judge how many more I'll need.


Plans for a raised veggie bed in the making ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )

I didn't harvest the bamboo the last two years. While out working on other projects I noticed ithe bamboo was starting to run. Not a good thing. Thirty years and now it is deciding to get naughty. Oh well, some heavy pruning is definitely needed. One more chore to add to a very long list. Want to move some phlox to fill in some late summer flowering holes, weed out some buttercups, clean perennials out of the paths, remulch paths that are getting muddy, hedging some ivy fences, divide perennials and that is just the back yard. Whew!

Lots to do. Hope your gardening work is light, and that it has all the results you want.


Last summer's surprising successes ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )





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A Few More Woodland Plants Added

Category: Starting and Maintaining the Garden | Posted: Sat Oct 05, 2013 7:58 pm

We put our cabin on the market. I doubt it will sell since the economy is so bad. Just in case we get lucky and it does find someone to love it as much as we have I have been transplanting my favorite woodland plants to our home in town. It is nice to be able to enjoy them on a daily basis.


Cabin in the rainforest ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )

A lot of trilliums come up in the area we keep mowed so I dig a few baby plants each time we go up. Was able to get six whole plants. Not an easy task. I have to use an old fork to tease around the glacial till trying not to break the stem off the bulb. I've gotten much better at it with practice. My woodland garden in town will one day have quite a spring time show of trilliums if I am lucky.

Up at the cabin I'd stuck some of the vanilla leaf (Achlys triphylla) in a large pot with sword ferns eight years ago. The plants had been uprooted when we replaced the back door deck. Figured someone else might just think they were weeds and wanted them somewhere at home. The soil was light and perfectly damp in the pot so all I had to do was reach in and unearth the roots. Ended up with almost a dozen starts.

Two or three years ago we had our first chanterelle mushroom show up in the back of the cabin. We haven't been up in the fall for the last two years. The chanterelle patch had really grown. It probably won't work but I also tried unearthing a number of the mushrooms to see if they might grow in our woodland area if I stuck them into the soil with their minuscule bottom parts. It would be fun to have the morels in the spring and the chanterelles in the fall right here at home. Mushrooms for the seasons.


Vanilla leaf (Achlys triphylla), pacific trillium, chanterelle mushrooms ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )

It was good that I was out digging in the garden. Unlike other places where I had planted sweet woodruff, it seems the woodland area it will be a problem. Huge mats had formed for it to take off next spring. It will definitely smoother some plants so will have to be removed. Fortunately there are paths to keep it contained and is very shallow rooted and easy to pull.

All in all the woodland area is coming along. I will rethink my ground covers and maybe try the little yellow violets as a ground cover instead of the sweet woodruff. I haven't had an area I thought they would be successful until now.


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


Hosta, hellebores, sword ferns, pigsqueak ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )


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



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

But then again it appears plants are really filling in and I may need to do some redesigning of beds to accomplish what I want. The fall leaves are beginning to litter the ground and the fir needles have been mulching beds and paths since the last storm shook them from the trees.

I continue to make plans and see the chaos in my garden as I seek a little order. It is not easy to make a man made woodland garden combining natives and ornamentals. It is nature perpetually in motion. Guess that is what makes gardening either an everlasting joy or an unending chore. Maybe a little of both. lol I am certainly addicted to the nature of it.

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