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Jewell
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Jewell's Blog

Ramblings from the Puget Sound


Hosta Green

Category: Spring | Posted: Sat Jun 08, 2013 5:34 am

Here it is June, and it was mid May last year when bought my first hosta on sale at a big box store. It was 'Blue Vision' and the plants had some varigated sports underneath on several of the plants. I divided them. The sports haven't been as slug resistant, but they are hanging in there. The green plants of Blue Vision are the most vigorous of all the plants I have gotten.


Blue Vision Hosta ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )


Blue Vision one year later ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )

Hosta June has been the most interesting. I bought four plants all identical then I moved two 10 to 20 feet away, out of the deep shade. Wow! How their color changed with the varying amounts of light.


Original deep shade location for June ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )


June with more light ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )


June with afternoon western sunlight ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )

Seems every time I get on a hosta forum there are all sorts of warnings about the hosta virus. Buying retail on sale is dangerous. Well I can afford a $5 plant. More than that and I cringe. Sorry specialty sales places I am making a nice small collection with out the big price. Here are a few other plants. Slugs definitely like hostas so hole are from them.


Patriot, very slug resistant and almost as vigorous as Blu Vision ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )


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


First Ostia blooms ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )


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



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


Hosta 'fragrant blue'. Love the blue leaves . ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )

The best were the dollar plants from the Master Gardeners plant sale. no names, but names are hard to remember any way. Needed some more to fill in the bare spaces.


1 of 2 hosta. Varieties ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )


2nd hosta variety ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )

The worst were the very small cuttings I got online. Made me believe I could do best buying local and big box. Those poor plants still are just developing

One last green photo.


Red October only has reddish stems, but I really like it ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )





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Front Yard April Blooms

Category: Spring | Posted: Thu Apr 25, 2013 5:33 am

Our front yard has been lawn free for many years. Plants have had time to either establish or wither and die. This is a great year for this combination cottage, woodland garden and patio/walkway. Here are a few photos of what is blooming now


Wild Hyacinth, Ferns, Hellebores ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )


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


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

Too bad I have to go to work..weeding would be a lot of fun


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


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






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





Last edited: Thu Apr 25, 2013 5:45 am

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Stems and Moving

Category: Spring | Posted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 10:40 pm

Today I feel like rambling through my mind and garden. Must be spring. March is the harbinger of spring! Yeah!
My lazy and untidy ways make my gardening practices work for me. I have slowly begun moving some of the phlox that I bought in a bundle of 10 plants three springs ago. I find them by the dried stems that lead me to the plants poking their leaves through the mulch.


phlox are sprouting ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )

I had thought that none of the phlox had survived their first summer, but then low-and-behold they surfaced with flowers during last summer so that I could witness the variety of colors I would eventually have. I moved several plants to locations that get more sun. Two plants that I had moved traveled a few feet again this spring. The day lilies are taking off in the bed that I had thought would be a good place for them. In the spring I always estimate incorrectly how things will grow. And you just never know how new plants will do. Especially those bought. Now if you are given a plant you can be sure that it will do much better than those purchased. The phlox start that I was given grew into a mass of pink blooms the first summer. The purchased ones will maybe reach that glory this summer like the following did last summer.


same pink phlox, and some lavender phlox and where is the path???? ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )

Now there is also the speedwell and bee balm to move. There stems will show me where they are. I just need to get moving and get out there and get the job started. It would be really nice if I could dublicate this picture again this summer in another part of the yard.



( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden2011 month06-08 )


I guess I am never finished with anything in the garden.








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If I didn't garden in the rain then when would I garden?

Category: Spring | Posted: Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:37 am

I am getting back into my 15-minutes-at-a-time gardening today. Of course that meant that I was in and out numerous times as my attention waxed and waned. It has been raining all day, sometimes in light mists and sometimes in torrential down pours. It is all in the timing.

Got a couple of dozen strawberries pulled from the muddy soil I should have been staying away from and replanted into 3 planters. Pulled a variety of weeds from patio and walkways. Sometimes I can get an entire dandelion root pulled out if I do the pulling in the rainest of days. Trimmed up one big fern that was covering a small rhodie and part of the patio/walkway. Of course none of this was done at one time, but off and on throughout the day. My expectations are low, but every dandelion and weed pulled now will make summer work so much easier. Found several dandelions that had flowered and were waiting for the sun to come out to spread their seeds...ugh!

In the fall we had a cold snowy snap that brought winter to our doorstep before the trees had even shed their leaves. That means that there is all of the fall clean up to do as well as spring chores. I am finding that the few raspberry starts planted last summer have multiplied and are trying to encroach into the pathways along with the sweet woodruff. Will have to decide if this will be a problem or an accidental reward. Narrower paths means less bark to order/buy. Am amazed at how last years plantings have taken off, and the phlox starts are coming up rapidly as well as several other perennials and perennial weeds. I guess the days I spend at work without windows may have had some sunshine that I wasn't lucky enough to witness. The heather and heliotropes are at the best right now.

Have begun a few small beds by laying down cardboard and the leaves from the fall and a few light and fluffy fir branches to anchor it all. Really need to find a weed free area to get a deer fern, kinnicknick and native ginger out of a planter and into the ground. Decisions, decisions. Isn't spring fun :)


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What happened to May...and now June???

Category: Spring | Posted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 5:14 am

I feel like spring has passed me by, but then again we haven't had much if any warm weather. Only one or two days of 70F, and most of the time its been cool and in the 50's with wind and rain.

I have given away most of my sedum and semp starts. Have a few more for give aways at the neighborhood art and garden walk. I love the variety of semps I have been able to multiple from just a few small starts. Here are some of my faves.


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


my favorite semp ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )


slightly different cobweb ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )


cobwebs multiplied nicely ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )

The ground cover pink flowering strawberries finally quit sulking and started to bloom. They really didn't appreciate our cold December.


pink flowering strawberries ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )

The wild lupine is still loved by the native bumble bees. It is quickly finishing one cycle and starting another.


lupines toward the end...to tall? ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )


Seeds to help continue the beauty ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )

Well, this last photo is what I'd like to spend the next few days doing...when I'm not getting my fingers dirty. I wonder if Buddy will let me join him. Oh yeh, it's my bed.

A summer break and wind-down is in order. :D


What I really want to do...soon :D ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )

Happy Gardening!





Last edited: Fri Jun 18, 2010 5:15 am

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May Flowers

Category: Spring | Posted: Wed May 19, 2010 5:52 pm

My fascination with sedums has not diminished as they spread and I keep moving them into different pots. The dollar store provided me with a number of small hanging baskets that are just right for more sedums. The cobweb semp has had such nice pink flowers I can't wait to see what some of the sedums will provide in blooms. I love the foliage whether it is the soft blue gray or the varieties of green from chartreuse to dark, dark green. Here in western Washington they are certainly little care and root from the smallest pieces.


Backyard sitting area for sun or rain - New sedum baskets are thriving ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )


Sedum bowl after lots of cuttings have been taken :) ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )


Cobweb Houseleek and sedums ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )

Planting for the climate and natural predators has been more by accident than fore thought in my garden. This year as the slugs feast on petunias, marigolds and some other annuals I begin to see how natural selection has played a major role in what I have in my garden. I am happy to report that phlox are not bothered by the slugs. Hopefully a new perennial takes its place in my yard. Leaping out of the ground this spring was a native lupine. Unlike the Russell variety it has not been bothered by slugs. I am hoping it will self-sew willingly in my beds.


4 foot lupine plant, must like it here ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )


A promise of flowers to come ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )

I am saddened by the loss of my dahlias. The single digit temps in December did them all in and a few other perennials. Usually we don't have to lift the dahlias and fir boughs are enough protection. Have thought about replacing them, but might browse the garden center first or see what I can divide from other parts of the yard. This is a good sized bed that needs to be filled.


a bed to fill ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )

I've moved a rose to each end of this long bed (about 30-35 feet) and also the perennial sunflowers. Am not sure what will like this area that is totally shaded for three quarters of the year as the fir trees in the neighbors yard get taller. The strawberries at its border are doing well and a few others like the Spotted Deadnettle, Gayfeather and Pacific bleeding hearts. Maybe there will be some lilies I can add to this area and some of the bare root phloxes that I have been waiting to start growing. Definitely have many possibilities for this bed.

Happily last years starter beds have filled in better than I would have hoped for in such a short time.


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

The closing are a few perennials that are showing their stuff at the moment. Ain't spring grand! ;D


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


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


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


Small French lilac ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )


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


This is the type of snowball I like to see in May ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )





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A Year Makes a Difference

Category: Spring | Posted: Sun Apr 11, 2010 5:59 am

The garden and perennial beds that were new last spring are filling in with woodland plants. Most of the perennials weathered the cold single digit weather we had in December. The holly fern is coming back from the base, but other wise everything looks good.


New bed on north side of garden space and garden 2009 ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )


New bed of day lilies? April 2009 ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )


Clematis and Daylilies have really grown ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )

Fall crocus, sweet woodruff, and hellebores 2010 ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )

I've divided the Shasta Daisies and fall asters. Some went into the vegie garden area. I also planted a bleeding heart plant into a shady corner by the hedge. Bare root phlox found a home along the trellis in the vegie area. I scattered some of the poppy seeds I'd collected last summer over the beds. Deciding where to place the wave petunias hasn't been easy, but they also will probably be placed into the vegie garden area.


Vegie area is going to have a whole lot more flowers ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )

I am not going to forget the vegetables, but there will be fewer. Planted some pretty rainbow chard today. There will be tomatoes, green beans, and sugar snap peas later. A plant or two of summer squash for the barbeque will also have to find a place in the yard some where.

Crazy is the only way to call the weather we have been having. Got our first snow of the year in April. The weather has been cold and rather nice except for the wind. So many things that were farther along and blooming last spring are still sleeping.

I have been collecting more sedums throughout the spring. Have also made a few more wreathes with them. It is fun seeing them and how different each one looks. Am wondering if I might be able to sell them at the Second Annual Art and Garden Walk that the neighborhood association is going to sponsor again this year. Last years was a lot of fun.


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


Sedum and Sempervivum Wreath ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )


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










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Mini Christmas Lights and Starting Plants????

Category: Spring | Posted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 4:37 am


plant starts and Christmas lights - heating the soil ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )

I divided some different varieties of hens and chicks and sedums for wreathe making. I treated myself to a couple of little shelving units that were just too good a deal to pass up.

I'd been searching the Web for some ideas on adding heat to help encourage root growth. Found lots of ideas, but most seemed a little scary (I kept visualizing electrical shock and fire hazards). The idea of using mini Christmas lights (100 lights to a string) to help heat the soil seemed pretty reasonable though. (I had hit an after Christmas sale a couple of years ago and picked up 100 light strings for only 25 cents a package so have lots).

One person had described using the mini Christmas lights under some kitty litter in the container and setting the pots on a tray on top of the litter. That particular setup wouldn't work for me, but it gave me some ideas. I decided to just lay the lights on the rack and place the plastic under-the-bed-storage containers on top. Although the temperatures had been around freezing outside the the soil for the pots in the covered racks is warm to the touch. The soil temperatures seem to be holding between 60-70 degrees F for the shelves with the lights.

Think I will add a third string of lights to the top shelf also. It is going to be a great starting set-up at minimal costs. Little mini Christmas lights....who would have thought?


light for heat? looks good in the dark also ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )





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Early Spring

Category: Spring | Posted: Sun Feb 21, 2010 10:03 pm

The TV newcasters have had several articles on how early spring is here. They say that spring is almost a full month early this year and it is feared that the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival will not have any tulips left blooming in their fields if we don't have a return to some cold, cold weather. The daffadils are having to be harvested already.

In the south Sound it isn't quite as early but this is how my daffodils look and I did find one blooming on a jaunt about the neighborhood.


daffodil almost ready to bloom ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )


daffodil blooming on my neighborhood jaunt ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )

My yard is full of leaves from wind storms, a very late and long lasting summer followed by record breaking cold weather. It isn't as cold as we have had in the 27 years we have lived in this home, but it was cold with no snow cover getting into the low teens for several weeks. So far the only thing I have lost was the French lavender. Am curious to see how the orchids weathered, but it is too early to tell.
Plants like my hellebores are a little late, and I had never noticed how early the seedlings pop up. I have several areas that will need to have hellebore seedlings moved or weeded. Nature isn't to be predicted in this region of the country.



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


hellebores aren't quite in full bloom yet ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )


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


100s of hellebore seedlings ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )

Our cold nights (25-27F) have been followed by days in the 50s. We have a low that is pulling weather out of inland Canada into our region rather than off the Pacific Ocean. Most unusual since usually when we have weather pulled out of Canada it is a high weather front and snow comes with it. I'm feeling like I am living east of the Cascade Mts. instead of west of them.

Because of the firs on the south property line the fish pond is holding some ice most days. There was a week of warm weather where I did break down and feed the gold fish twice. They were very active and ate all that I gave them. Will have to think about thinning out their ranks this summer. With no raccoons or possum preying on them there are too many fish in the pond.
Deer have been in the neighbors yard. The deer that we saw last summer and fall have made this neighborhood their permanent home. City deer, strange, but what makes up part of the charm of this old neighborhood.

Here are a few more early bloomers. They weren't in my yard, but like everyone I saw sitting out in front of their homes today they are soaking in some vitamin D and sunshine. Just to let you know the ice age hasn't struck yet.


honeybee and white heather blooms ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )


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


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



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