Monday, June 15, 2009

Planned Destruction

We share a long driveway with a neighbor. This is the view from our house looking down after we started the demolition in preparation for new paving.

Here's the pile of paving from the section from our house to the neighbor's house.

Troy gets to have all of the concrete in front of his garage.

And on his auxiliary parking pad. I hope the apple trees survive.

It was pretty noisey and exciting. We have our cars parked on the street as we will not be able to drive up or down for the duration.

It will take at least a week. Harrison is very excited (he's in grade 4). He was climbing all over the piles with his brother and his followers after the workers left.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Weird weather

We've been having unusual weather. It has been cool, cloudy, and rain has been predicted off and on. We've actually had some sprinkles--not enough to do any good but enough to get me to dash out to retrieve equipment that had been left out. We seldom get precipitation from May through September.

It seems as if it has been unseasonably cool. Since the beginning of June, we have recorded only 2 highs in the 70s (71 and 73). On several days it never got over 64. Our lows have consistently been in the mid-50s. The lettuce is doing fine. The tomatoes are growing.

I'm posting these pictures from April and May to remind myself that the garden went from an abundance of bloom to scraps. I need to work on that. A garden friend would always remark that Mother Nature makes the spring garden and we have to do the work for the rest of the year. I need to visit gardens after the spring flush. I need dahlias, sunflowers, and more lilies. I guess have been focusing on food crops of late.

What do you love that is in bloom in your garden now?

Monday, June 08, 2009

Oh, and we went to the beach

Rick really isn't that into sweet peas so he packed his bike for our Sebastopol trip. He biked down to Bodega Bay where I picked him up after I recovered from smelling the flowers.

It was a perfect day on the Sonoma coast--one beautiful beach after another.

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Sweet Peas

For several years I have wanted to visit the Enchanting Sweet Peas Open House. I have grown sweet peas off and on for twenty years and my love affair with their fragrance hasn't abated.

This event is a one day affair in Sebastopol, CA and in my imagination I would wander endlessly, intoxicated by both the scent and the sights. In fact, the garden is a small lot where Glenys Johnson shows plants grown from her seed. If you get there early you can buy seed only available there. You can see varieties that she is trialing, for which she might offer seed in the future. You might win a bouquet of freshly picked stems. You can also order seed to be shipped to you in the fall, but you can always do that on her website.

This year I went, I saw, I smelled, I ordered, and I took some pictures. I have no IDs for these pictures (although it looks like this one is Jayne Amanda) but I probably bought seed for some of them so my fantasies persist. Who knows, I might have some flowers of my own this time next year.

Here is what I bought:
Anniversary - rose-edged on pale pink
April in Paris - cream-edged with lilac
Blue Ripple - white with blue flecks
Oban Bay - silvery blue
Charlie's Angel - periwinkle blue
Percy Thrower - lilac flush on white
Sylvia Mary - sunset pink

My plan for the 2010 growing season: Soak overnight when seed arrives in October. Seeds should swell. Those that don't swell should be chipped. Plant in individual cells. Grow outdoors in flats, in a protected area that gets good light. Transplant about 5 weeks later. I have had wonderful results in the past growing the Knee-Hi's, sowing them directly. These Spencer hybrids grow tall and want something sturdy to grow on. I have a year to figure that out!

Here are my notes of what I liked on my walk-through: Albutt Blue, Blue Danube, Jayne Amanda, Anniversary, Blue Ripple, Oban Bay, Comet, Noel Sutton, Percy Thrower, Lilac Ripple, Gwendolyn, Southbourne, and April in Paris.