Vegetable Garden 2017 #5

Garden 2017 Planting tomato pots

I missed posting about the garden in May so I am doing a late post in June from memory and pictures. I am dating it as May 29th when I took the picture.

The weather has warmed up. It was a gorgeous Memorial Day weekend – one of the best on record. We have hung out around the house and did a King Tide walk on Friday along Richmond Beach and visited BBG on Saturday. I was somewhat disappointed with BBG since the warm weather has pushed some flowers ahead.

Monday we did our traditional planting of our tomatoes plants in the pots in the drive way. We have a couple of extra and we may put them in the raised beds in the back.

We have harvested radishes which have been great. The Easter Egg type are wonderful and it helps to mulch them extra. We have also harvested some lettuce. The potatoes are growing like gang-busters. I have been adding soil everyday. The peas are starting to pod so it will be a couple of weeks for a harvest. We also transplanted the corn and the rest of the bush bean starts.

Garden 2017 Lettuce, radish and beans

Garden 2017 Potatoes

Garden 2017 Corn

Garden 2017 Peas getting tall

Vegetable Garden 2017 #4

Garden 2017 Green beans

I missed posting about the garden in May so I am doing a late post in June from memory and pictures. I am dating it as May 16th when I took the picture.

May has been mixed. Some hot days early in May and we went to Yakima. The garden is chugging along. We have the potatoes planted and they are just starting to emerge. The pole and one set of bush beans have been transplanted. The peas are just starting to flower. The hot plants have been repotted and are waiting in the greenhouse for it to get warmer.

Garden 2017  Potatoes

Garden 2017 Pole Peas

Garden 2017 Peas and lettuce

Garden 2017 Tomatoes

Vegetable Garden 2017 #3

Vegetable Garden 2017

This spring has been very wet and dismal. The rain and gray continues and it has been cold. Everything seems to be about 3 weeks behind. The saucer Magnolias are gorgeous and full of blooms. This seems to be late. But the rhododendrons are on time with the red ones and ‘Unique’ has started to bloom in the neighborhood.

Our tomato seedlings did not start. We did not put them on the heating mat since we were going to California in mid March. So we restarted them on March 30th. We had good luck with some but no germination on the Stupice and Siletz. So we bought a start of Stupice and a Willamette which is an older but similar variety to replace the Siletz.

The peas we started on Feb 25th were big enough to plant out on March 16th. They seem to be doing well and have started to climb this week. The “Outrageous” lettuce went out on March 30th.

We started the Pole Beans yesterday on April 22th and will start the squash, cucumber and corn today. We will start the bush beans a little later.

We have also been doing a lot of general clean up. We had a lot of moss around the pathways. We cleaned the back cement patios on April 12th with the power washer and hand scrubed the wood dec. Then we cleaned the moss and power washed the drive way on April 13th. We sprayed the driveway and deck with anti-moss on April 15th. Next day, we did more yard clean up – G pulled horsetails and I raked up the beech leaved and gathered up years of beechnut hulls from around the deck. We ended up with 2 cans and 5 bags of yard waste. It was a great feeling of accomplishment to see the yard waste go out on Tues 18th. We finally got to mow the lawn for the first time on 20th. It has been so wet.

We took a day off on 21st – our first beautifully sunny day and went and saw the tulips and did a little wildflower hunting at Washington Park in Anacortes.

Spring 2017 Update 2

Magnolia stellata

We have returned from a trip to California to see the 2017 Superbloom. We were a little early but did see some great flowers fields in Carrizo Plains. More on this later.

It continues to be cold, dark, gray and rainy. Everything is about two weeks behind normal. This is definitely a late spring. The flowering plums have started blooming and the neighborhood is starting to be covered by clouds of pink. The Yoshino cherries started bloom and the quad is in bloom. The daffodils have just started blooming along with the other usual suspects at this time – trilliums, pulminarias, ephorbias bloodroot. In a few days, the muscari will also be in bloom.

A walk along the Edmonds waterfront was full of color with daffodils and early tulips. We made it back in time to see the stunning pink Stella Magnolias in bloom at 3rd and Dayton.

Sanguinaria canadensis

Corydalis solida 'Beth Evans"

Primula denticulata

Euphorbia characias



Magnolia stellata

Magnolia stellata

Spring 2017 update

Pieris japonica

The winter has been cold and wet. We have had snow even in February and a couple of freezing days early in March. The cold weather has made the spring bloom late.

The first Spring tree that I look for is the flowering plum. They are late. None of the ones that I would typically see in flower at this time of year have opened. You can see the pink cast to the buds on the branches but nothing has opened. The only thing now in bloom is the Cornus Mas especially along the ferry dock.

Shrubs are starting to bloom. Pieris has started to open and is colorful as is Viburnum. There are a few forsythia just starting to open to add yellow. The heather has been in bloom for a couple of weeks. Euphorbias are budded but nothing is open yet.

Bulbs will be late. The crocus are just past. The rain has beaten many of the larger crocus. The squirrels ate our species but a few have made it. In our window box which is warmer, the iris were in full bloom around Presidents’ Day week as were the snowdrops. Cyclamens are still in bloom and the hellebores are coming on strong.

Daffodils are just budded and a few are opening in the warmer areas like Green Lake and Edmonds but they are still a ways in our yard. I suspect the tulips will be real late.

It has been warmer this week – in the 50’s but lots of rain. I have a feeling this will be a wet year with lots of rain in April and few 80 degree days until July. Let’s hope I am wrong.

Cornus mas

Seal pups in Edmonds

Belted Kingfished - Edmonds

Vegetable Garden 2017 #2

Tomatoes are started

Not much happening in the garden right now. March has been very rainy – in fact the whole winter has been rather gray, wet and cold. But the seeds have been started.

Since the last update, we have started our tomatoes and some annuals. We are growing 6 tomatoes; Stupice, Legend, Taxi, Siletz, Early Girl and a Yellow Pear cherry. We also started some Gypsy peppers from seed that we save and we will see how they do. For annuals, some Empress of India dark Nasturtiums and salpiglossis.

I have a bit of cabin fever because it has been raining. I have been walking with a group at Green Lake so I am getting out but just haven’t wanted to do anything in the yard since everything is so squishy.

Rainy March

Vegetable Garden 2017 #1

Vegetable starts 2017

It has been a very wet and cold winter. We got several days of snow in December before Christmas and again in January. We had a long string of days also with lows into the teens.

The crocus were a week or two late and then the squirrels ate them. We definitely need to move them. The iris in our bulb box was in full bloom by the 15th along with the snow drops. The iris is looking sad now from more rain.

G started the early vegetable seeds on February 25th. Two types of lettuce, Nevada and Outrageous. Three types of snap peas – Sugar Anns and Sugar Sprint which are shorter and we will put in the pots. We are going to try Super Snap Peas in one of the beds which have new soil and never had peas. They are supposed to be more disease resistant and hopefully they won’t get wilt.

We did a bit of cleanup in the front year. We clipped the ornamental grasses and did a little bit of leaf cleanup. On my list of projects is to deadhead and start some weeding. The forecast looks for a long cold spring but we will see.

Seed packets


Packing up the office

I logged off for the last time yesterday. It was a bittersweet ending to a wonderful six years. Several of my teammates chatted and phoned me to wish me well. Normally when one quits a job, you leave the office and drive away. I worked from home so it was not final until today when I packed up the equipment and took it to UPS.

I thought about going out to dinner but just wasn’t inspired. I enjoy cooking so I decided to make a dinner of seared scallops with a saffron cream sauce, rice pilaf and carrots from our garden. We over wintered carrots and they are still good even after the snow, freeze and heavy rain winter.

I am now officially retired. No plans on looking for another job and looking forward to the freedom and flexibility of doing what ever I want whenever I want. “Me Time” as a friend called it.

Seared scallops for retirement


2016 Anniversary Hike at Mt Rainier

Bench Lake - Mt Rainier
Mt Rainier from the Snow Lake Trail

Our tradition is to do a hike at Mt. Rainier. We usually try to do Mt. Burroughs as we did in 2014 but this year we decided to do a different hike. We hadn’t done Bench and Snow Lakes for several years. It was also an easy and good hike for early fall.

We left around 9am thinking it would be an easy drive – but nothing is easy any more on the weekend in the Seattle area. We made it to just about Southcenter and the traffic stopped. We remembered that they were working on I5 and had closed 3 (yes 3!) of the 4 lanes. So we headed to our alternative to only find out that there was also construction and a closure farther down. Time for Google maps to give us an alternative through Spanaway.

We finally made the trailhead almost 3 1/2 hours late – almost an hour more than normal. Fortunately the day was warm and sunny and we headed out on the trail. It is a pretty easy trail with some up to a meadow along with a bit more before dropping down to Snow Lake. We continued on beyond the lake to the talus slopes for some solitude.

After lunch and relaxing, we returned to the car. We realized it wasn’t any farther to drive the rest of the way around Mt. Rainier so we headed out towards Box Canyon, Cayuse Pass and home. Another memorable Anniversary hike.

Here are some of the views from the trail.

Bench Lake - Mt Rainier
Rusty reds of the blueberries bushes along the trail

Bench Lake - Mt Rainier
Mt Rainier under a partially lenticular cloud

Bench Lake - Mt Rainier
George in the meadow

Bench Lake - Mt Rainier
Unicorn Peak

Bench Lake - Mt Rainier
Overlooking Box Canyon

Bench Lake - Mt Rainier
Snow Lake

Bench Lake - Mt Rainier
Happy Anniversary

Camping 2016 – Foulweather Bluff

Foulweather Bluff
Foulweather Bluff near Hansville

It was finally time to return home. The weather was moody but fortunately did not rain.

We stopped first at a farmhouse stand to pick up some fresh eggs. We were greeted by their turkey!

Next we headed for one last hike at Foulweather Bluff at the far tip of Kitsap Peninsula. You could see how this would be open to the harsh weather of the straight.

We returned home – a fun time camping and sightseeing on the Kitsap Peninsula.

Smithshyre Farm

Smithshyre Farm

Smithshyre Farm

Smithshyre Farm

Foulweather Bluff

Foulweather Bluff

Foulweather Bluff

Lions mane jellyfish

Foulweather Bluff

Madrona bark

Leaf Face