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

Daffodil

Hyacinth

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

Retired!

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

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

Camping 2016 – Scenic Beach

Scenic Beach Camping

Our campsite was located at Scenic Beach which is just outside of Seabeck on the Hood Canal. I was hoping for sunny warm weather like I had for my birthday in 2013 but no luck. It was overcast and warm.

After sightseeing in Winslow, we headed to Poulsbo for lunch. We were surprised how crowded everything was the day after the 4th. I think a lot of people avoided the traffic and crowds and stayed until the 5th. After lunch and a short walk around Poulsbo, we headed back to Bainbridge for a beer tasting. I wanted to camp on the Kitsap Peninsula because of the wide variety of different breweries to visit. Our first was Bainbridge Island Brewery which we had tasted at the beer festival. We had a good flight although we were disappointed that several of their reserves were no on tap.

We headed on to our campground and were very pleased at the park. It was very quiet and somewhat empty on the 5th (Tuesday). We set up our camp and relaxed. The sites are up a ways from the beach and we walked to the canal near sunset.

The next day we headed for our hike at Guillimot Cove. We have hiked there twice and it is a beautiful hike. The sun was just coming out as we descended down to the cover. The house at the bottom of the trail was even more spooky and dilapidated. We headed through the butterfly filled field to the oyster-shell covered beach to watch the eagles and herons fishing in the canal. Of course, we had to stop at the stumphouse before climbing back up to our car.

We headed for Silverdale and lunch at Silver City Brewery. I had some awesome fish tacos and several good beers. We drove to the old town Silverdale and walked down into the harbor before returning to camp.

Poulsbo

Poulsbo

Poulsbo

Poulsbo

Bainbridge Brewing

Bainbridge Brewing

Bainbridge Brewing

Guillimot Cove Hike

Guillimot Cove

Guillimot Cove
An abandoned Home – we have watched it deteriorate over the years. It is very spooky.

Guillimot Cove

Guillimot Cove

Guillimot Cove

Guillimot Cove

Guillimot Cove
The cove was alive with swallowtail butterflies on the thistle

Guillimot Cove

Guillimot Cove Guillimot Cove

Guillimot Cove
Birthday Girl

Guillimot Cove

Guillimot Cove

Guillimot Cove

Guillimot Cove

Guillimot Cove

Hood Canal at Scenic Beach

Scenic Beach

Monotropa uniflora - Indian Pipes

Scenic Beach

Camping 2016 – Bainbridge Island

Japanese American Exclusion Memorial

We were hoping for good weather and I took part of the week of 4th of July off. We decided to go camping across the sound at Scenic Beach on Kitsap Peninsula. It is close but feels like we travel away since we need to take the ferry across.

We could not check into the campground until about 2:30pm so we headed to Winslow on Bainbridge Island. I wanted to visit the Bainbridge Island Art Museum with the roof top garden by Lewis and Lewis and the Japanese American Exclusion Memorial.

The Bainbridge Island Museum was wonderful. It has a lot of pieces in different medias and focuses on NW Artists. The exhibit of the works by Barbara Earl Thomas were so diverse. Her work brought back many memories from my previous job. The halls were filled with NW Artists and I daily walked by several of her paintings. The rooftop garden was smaller than I anticipated and we actually enjoyed the diversity of plants in the courtyard better.

We drove through Winslow and around Eagle Harbor to Pritchard Park and the location of the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial. Nidoto Nai Yoni, translated as “Let It Not Happen Again” is the motto of the memorial. The Japanese Exclusion was part of my education growing up. One of my best friend’s parents were removed from their property to Manzanar and lost everything. My mother’s bar in Eastern California was built from scrap lumber from the camp. “Let It Not Happen Again” still echos in the political campaigns of 2016. I had to visit.

The curving cedar wall is built along the footsteps of where the Japanese walked on their way to the ferry that took them off the island to the camps. The names of the 227 islanders are memorialized on the wall along with cedar friezes that describing their life before and after the internment.

Camping Kitsap County
Leaving Edmonds for Kitsap Peninsula

Camping Kitsap County

Gardens at Bainbridge Art Museum
Courtyard at Bainbridge Island Museum

Gardens at Bainbridge Art Museum
Courtyard at Bainbridge Island Museum
Gardens at Bainbridge Art Museum Gardens at Bainbridge Art Museum

Gardens at Bainbridge Art Museum
Rooftop Garden

Gardens at Bainbridge Art Museum
Rooftop Garden

Gardens at Bainbridge Art Museum
Rooftop Garden

Japanese American Exclusion Memorial

Japanese American Exclusion Memorial
The bridge to the entrance

Japanese American Exclusion Memorial

Nidoto Nai Yoni, translated as “Let It Not Happen Again”

Japanese American Exclusion Memorial

Japanese American Exclusion Memorial

Japanese American Exclusion Memorial

Japanese American Exclusion Memorial

Japanese American Exclusion Memorial Japanese American Exclusion Memorial

Friezes showing the life of the Japanese on Bainbridge

Japanese American Exclusion Memorial

Japanese American Exclusion Memorial

Japanese American Exclusion Memorial