Saturday, January 30, 2010

Weird Winter.

We haven't received any snow this year here. That's not unusual, but in my 5 years in Oregon, this is the first completely snow-less year (it's snowed in other parts; just not in my city).

And, generally, it is below freezing frequently from late Nov-late February. This year though, we had one cold snap in early December, and not much since. It's hovered in the low 40s at night, and that's it. That's still cold, but it is atypical.

What is really weird though, is the plants are beginning to green. Daffodils are beginning to sprout. Crocuses too. That's about 1 month to 1.5 months earlier than usual.
All this has me bracing a bit. Is this "warm" front just going to make a sudden cold spell that much harsher?

I'm still planting my plants in late April to early May. At least, that's when they'll go outdoors without covers. It is just SO WEIRD.

Supposedly, there's an El NiƱo pattern in the Pacific. Warmer water= warmer weather, or at least, that's the theory.

It's not like I have a TON of things outdoors. It just... it's weird, ok? Weird. It feels like mid March. I'm hoping that moderate weather now won't mean a surprise later on that may have me scrambling. I love Oregon summers, and I'm hoping nothing messes with that!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Nine FREE Currants

Toddling around on Craigslist last night, I came across a post for nine, FREE, black currant plants. WOO!

And I get to go get them today or tomorrow.

Black currants have a different taste. They have a tart bite to them. Or maybe a tang? I don't know how to describe it. But, the taste makes it great to add into foods. I'm planning on canning and drying mine, once they produce.

I am already getting one red currant plant, so this is a super-neat addition. I limited myself to one because it was a mail-order and ordering more would have increased the shipping a bit too much (plus the plant was expensive-- free is better).

I have the space too; I've re-done the garden layout in the back fruit section. I can't add too much more; must allow space for everything else that needs to go in. :)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Outdoor Oven

I really want to make an outdoor oven. You can get the instructions here.

I know... we really don't need another project right now. So this one's going on the far, far, far back burner for maybe sometime this summer, when the garden is up and running.

It wouldn't cost too much, probably around $30 (if my calculations are right with the bricks and cement). But oh, the brick oven pizzas and breads. Cool.

Yes, a wistful post today, but a scrummy one.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

First seed purchases made!

Today, I finally sat down and ordered seeds. I've been meaning to for a while, but it's a bit of a daunting task! I really like a lot of Parkseed's selection, so I began with them. I hope to go to Territorial Seed Co (since they're nearby) and get the rest (and fresh plants picked up, not shipped) in April. We'll see!

For flowers, I tried to get:
1) plants for the shade;
2) plants for color and arrangements;
3) plants for drying.

For vegetables, I tried to get:
1) VERY productive;
2) Unusual but yummy;
3) Hard-to-find in plant form locally.

I still have much to get, namely:
1) order onion transplants;
2) buy tomatoes... at least pear cherry tomatoes;
3) find green pattypan squash
4) find lemon cucumbers and long cucumbers... etc etc.

But, this is a good start! Here are photos of what I bought:

Coleus mix (for shade):

Coleus 'black dragon', for shade:

Striped magda zucchini:

Squash, eastern delight (zucchini-type squash, but a little nuttier):
Yellow patty pan sunburst!:
Yellow pattypan squash:
Crookneck squash, yellow:
More Zinnias:
Ruffled Zinnias:
Astilbe (I already bought orange astilbe... it's good for shade):
Striped eggplant:
Kale (for fall):
Okra, spineless:
Snap peas:
Sugar peas:
Yellow, creamy string beans (stringless):
Green beans (stringless)
Orange massive tomatoes:
Rainbow tomatoes:
Pink tomatoes:

Regular tomatoes (but very very very productive):
Purple/chocolate regular tomatoes!:
Pineapple tomatoes:
Yin Yang beans (for drying):
Purple cherry tomatoes:
Coneflowers (for drying and arrangements):
Bush beans:
Purple string beans:

All in all? Very exciting.


I saw this image yesterday on Oh my.
I'm not a huge fan of COOKING with lavender or lavender perfume, but I love lavender satchels in dresser drawers. And the color here in the picture is so incredibly vibrant.

I'm thinking the garden may need some lavender balls (like above) throughout the garden.... which would go really well with the wisteria on the back fence.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Five trees planted

Five trees are planted!
Specifically, from left to right: two cherry trees (with 4 grafts of different cherries on each tree), two apricots, and a peach. All the trees are either dwarf of semi-dwarf.

Here's a closer-up view of the cherry trees.
And, sadly, here are the raspberries and blueberries just waiting to be planted. SIGH. Raspberries come next; they're more in desperate need to be planted.

And (insert spooky music), here is the next section of the garden waiting to be cleared, tilled, dug, boxes put in, and planted.

And finally, a shot of my seedlings Hurray!