Monday, May 31, 2010


A couple of years ago we planted a 40' bed of peonies. We bought a variety of colors from white through pink to dark red. This year they are starting to bloom in quantities that we can cut and sell at market. However, a spate of rain and wind knocked these red ones over and so I got to cut them for the house instead of for market. Not sure I'm unhappy about that.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Coming home from the mainland last weekend I photographed this cormorant sitting on a nest in a clump of pilings at the ferry dock in Anacortes. The birds have found the niches in the piling structure as good as cliff faces for nesting. There were dozens of them. You can see an egg under this bird.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Mulched Lilies

I finally got the lily bed all mulched again. Every year I rake up the lawn clippings and mulch these Asiatic lilies with them. That's all the fertilizer they have ever gotten and they are thriving. I do have to treat the bed with Sluggo to keep the slugs under control. When I first moved to the island we only had to contend with the native banana slugs. They were enough of a problem but 10 or so years ago we were invaded with European slugs, an invasive species that makes the banana slugs look like pets. These guys are voracious eaters and fantastic reproducers. They have to be dealt with.

We mow the lawn not to keep a suburban look but to keep the jungle at bay and to produce mulch for the perennial flower beds. If we let the lawn go for a year the blackberries and rose bushes and fir trees and plum seedlings and snowberries and....would be back in spades. When we moved to this place it had been abandoned for bout 40 years and all of the above were crowding the house. It took about 5 years of hard labor to push it all back to the edges. I expect that when we are gone they will just take over again.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Dark Wool Rugs

I am finally started on the last of the wool rug warps for this season. I have enough of the really dark first year lamb fleeces for 5 rugs. I've put on a black cotton warp and will weave some with grey or white stripes. We never get a lot of this color from the sheep because most black lambs turn grey after their first shearing. So these rugs are special.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Owl and the Robins

I heard the robins out in the woods making the call they make when an owl's near and went to see if I could find it. It was a barred owl sitting on a branch about 10 feet above the ground.
The robins were shrieking and flying at it. Half an hour later they were still at it.

Friday, May 14, 2010

A Warm and Cozy Place

The tomato plants have been moved out of the greenhouse and out to the hoophouse to either be planted there for the greenhouse crop or hardened off for later outdoor planting. Chas discovered a warm empty bench that was a great place for a cat's afternoon nap.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Warm at Last

Okay, I know there's not a lot to see here, but the soil finally got warm enough to plant things like green beans and corn which want the soil to be at least 60 degrees F. So today we planted two varieties of dent corn for corn meal, 5 types of green beans, 3 kinds of dry beans, and the last of the Stuttgarter onion sets. And I set out my delphinium and lupine plants. After having frost two mornings last week it was great to be out in the garden crawling around in the dirt wearing a short sleeved t-shirt. I think the growing season has arrived at our place.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A Great Mother's Day

I had the greatest Mother's Day. We went down to Seattle to visit my middle daughter and family (and pick up a load of fertilizer). My youngest granddaughter, who just turned one a week ago, climbed up on the dining room table after dinner and stood up by herself for the first time. She had a great and appreciative audience of parents, grandparents and big sister and she wowed us all. She was so pleased with herself.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Season Progresses

Our very first lettuces are almost ready to eat. Alright, we robbed the cradle and had one for dinner last night. We will have a few bags of lettuce mix for Market this weekend and in a week we should have actual head to sell. Yippee!!
We have been setting out transplants. The soil is finally drying out enough. Above are little statice plants that I set out last evening. Joel has been putting out all sorts of brassicas and 3, 60 foot beds of onion seedlings. We hope to have LOTS of onions this year.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

May Day Market

The May Day market was great. We had flowers to sell for the first time, a couple of bouquets and my favorite dark purple lilacs. And we had flowers to eat, You Cai and cauliflower.

I also set up my rugs and hats.