Wednesday, November 3, 2010
I have removed the rest of any summer vegetation. In addition, some broccoli starts I planted several weeks ago are coming along nicely. The fuchsia continues to bloom so I'm putting off the yearly shearing of branches. Cyclamen Hederifolium is sprouting (see pic below). The major project this fall though has been the dozens of tulip bulbs I have planted in the eastern half of my main plot. This is why I should stay away from nurseries this time of the year. I can't remember how many varieties I ended up planting but I'm sure to find out come next spring. As for putting the garden to bed...I began spreading a late batch of compost and covering areas with burlap (free from the Magnolia Garden Center). Finally, visited Molbaks (Woodinville, WA) and checked out the early Christmas plants/decorations. By the end of November the place will be packed with poinsettias.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Furthermore, I have been picking peas steadily for the past two weeks. This year has been a bumper crop. The rodent population is way down (I think someone has been killing them) and I've had little to no damage to the peas this year. Most years I lose roughly the first third of my pea crop to rats before the growth outraces their appetite and my ability to pick the ripe peas. Also, the cooler temperatures this year has allowed the plants to continue along, whereas in the past the 80+ degree temperatures would have them fully matured and decaying by now.Finally, my Cyclamen intaminatum has produced a single white flower. Out of all the cyclamen species inteminatum produces the most petite blooms.
Friday, June 25, 2010
My other purpurascens is not doing nearly as well. Pictured below, you can see it has maintained the original three leaves it had when I bought it from Hansen's Nursery last September. Unfortunately, one leaf is turning yellow and slowly dying off. I'm guessing some form of insect has been attacking it, and I'm thinking of bringing the plant indoors to better monitor it. Fortunately, the plant is finally seeing some new growth in the form of two newly emerging leaf stalks.
Finally, the c. intaminatum (pictured below) is also experiencing change. It lost a couple of original leaves (since last September) about a month ago, with another one also showing signs of deterioration. Fortunately, I spy five new leaf stalks beginning to emerge. I'm looking forward to seeing how well the plant will do with the substantial new growth. All in all, my cyclamen project is currently hit-and-miss. I'm hoping some of the plants will develop well enough to bloom in another year or two. Most of the tubers are about the size of a kidney bean and still have a ways to go.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Finally, the pots on my deck with a half dozen different species of cyclamen are showing signs of growth. The C. intaminatum had 5 small leaves up until a couple of weeks ago two leaves withered and died. Fortunately, there are around 4 to 5 new leaf stalks poking up out of the soil. The plant is beginning to thrive. In addition, and most exciting news of all, my C. purpurascens that I acquired at Swanson's Nursery last year is growing like crazy. When I purchased the plant it had 4 flower stalks in bloom. The plant currently has around two dozen flower buds about to bloom shortly. Also, some newer leaf stalks are also shooting out to the sides. I'll half to transplant the plant after this growing season. I'll post some pics as soon as it is in full swing, but until then here is the first bloom of the season...
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Greetings! It has been about a month since the last update regarding my p-patch plot. The weather these last few weeks has been less than stellar, with few days getting above 60 degrees. Also, it has been raining a lot. So, let's start with the good. As the above picture shows nearly everything is growing with great fervor. The spinach is steadily producing more than I can consume so everyone whose path I cross gets some. The peas have finally begun their vertical climb and I have tied them up so they will climb the trellis instead of clinging to nearby plants. Both types of campanula (Birch's Hybrid is shown in photo) have bloomed a collection of attractive violet flowers. The celery is coming along nicely. And, the carrot starts I acquired at the South Seattle Community College Horticultural Center plant sale are doing well. In order to deter carrot rust flies I have covered the carrots with Reemay. I do not know how effective it will be but I'm hoping it at least helps.
On to the bad...my broccoli is, once more, struggling with Clubroot. Fortunately, I have only needed to dispose of a couple plants. The rest of the broccoli is coming along well and I'm looking to begin harvesting next month. Also, the corn starts in the plot are just hanging on. And, the ugly...the corn starts I planted in the newly cleared space (see above) are pretty much gone. They weren't the best starts I've acquired, and the weather (rain, wind, cold) has been hard on them. I'll be removing them and continue to clear the space of grass and roots shortly. I'm planning on planting some healthier corn stock in another week or two, assuming the weather begins to warm.
Sunday, May 2, 2010
Friday, April 23, 2010
So, in overview of the current plants...the peas are all up (except for the reseeding) and just waiting for the right temperature to begin their vertical climb. I have two groups of peas, and have already constructed their accompanying trellises. Next, the celery starts are currently in a holding pattern. It's a bit early for them, but this is the time of year the starts are being sold and I purchased these ones at Fred Meyer. The spinach starts are also growing slowly, and being trimmed by the local wildlife. I dosed the plants with some fish fertilizer to motivate them along. The broccoli is showing some new growth and can hopefully be harvested before the weather gets so warm they bolt. The yellow German Butterball potatoes I missed digging up last Fall have re-sprouted (in full force) and have taken over the NE corner of the plot. Finally, I removed most of the crocus/daffodil/hyacinth in the SE quadrant because the space was needed. I plan to research/buy some better quality bulbs (the removed ones were bulk from Fred Meyer) this coming Fall for this spot. So, into this spot, and the remaining room in the middle of the plot, went the corn starts I purchased today. I visited the annual Olympic View Elementary Plant Sale (504 NE 95th St, Seattle, WA 98115) in Mapleleaf today and was enticed with the lure of corn starts. I have yet to figure out how I will fight off the rats in a few months. But, until then, the corn has some great soil to grow in. The SE corner of my plot was a storage spot for excess compost the last couple of years. Needless to say, this area contains the best soil in the entire plot :-)
Finally, the Summer flowering plants are growing like weeds. The lilies are bushing out, the Campanula (Birch's Hybrid) is developing, and the fuchsia is just beginning to sprout out (in a few months it will easily encompass a five-foot diameter).
Monday, April 12, 2010
The one thing about Kruckeberg that I find particularly exciting is the sheer volume of cyclamen growing wild throughout the property. You can even find it next to the roadway bordering the front of the garden. C. Hederifolium is the most pervasive species, with C. Coum and C. Repandum making up the remainder. In fact, the Repandum is currently in bloom and stands out quite strikingly.
I revisited the garden yesterday in hopes of acquiring a Repandum tuber. Fortunately, they discovered for me a tiny tuber with a single bloom still attached (cost: $7.00). It will probably take this plant a couple of years to mature but the one thing you learn with gardening is patience :-)
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Finally, I invested in a small hellebore (Ivory Prince) for diagonal placement to my fuchsia. One perennial will be in bloom in Summer while the other in winter. Several--rapidly multiplying-crocuses and irises will be removed in a few weeks to make room for the hellebore. I'm hoping this plant will bloom for the first time this coming December.
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
In addition, I am growing C. hederifolium (the most common/hardy species) in the p-patch plot, and have a bunch of assorted pots on my deck where I'm attempting to cultivate some of the more difficult and exotic species (four of the five pots show signs of growth). Hansen Nursery in North Bend, OR, sells an impressive selection of cyclamen bare root plants.
What really impresses me about this plant is that it looks great year-round and is non-invasive. The striking ivy-like leaves dominate the plant most of the year, and the plant flowers (depending upon species) in fall and winter. So, it isn't uncommon that hardy cyclamen will be blooming in snowy conditions when everything around it is dormant. Cyclamen thrive best under forest trees where there is partial shade and plenty of decomposing leaf matter.
If you are looking to check out hardy cyclamen -- outside of nurseries -- in the Seattle area you are certainly up for a challenge. I know of two places that have the plant. The Seattle Arboretum has a winter garden with many years of cyclamen growth (C. hederifolium and C. coum). Also, the Krukenberg Botanical Garden has C. hederifolium growing in bunches throughout the property and alongside the adjacent roadway.