Friday, April 23, 2010

Spring Planting - Update

Well, things are really beginning to take off. With one week left in April, temperatures are up, with some days breaking 60 degrees. Along with the infrequent rain showers, everything green is thriving. I've planted nearly all of this year's vegetables, and am only waiting until May to seed pole green beans and plant some bell pepper starts (the ones from Lowe's have produced the best the last two years).

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

Visit to The Kruckeberg Botanic Garden

The Kruckeberg Botanic Garden is located in Richmond Beach just to the north of Seattle, WA. The four-acre plant collection was assembled by Mareen and Arthur Kruckeberg over several years. Currently, it is open to the public and they also offer guided tours. Towards the front of the property resides the MsK Rare Plant Nursery (open year-round Fri-Sun). They carry the most diverse range of plants I have ever witnessed in a location this size.

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 :-)