August 25, 2015
NEW — 6:05 p.m. Aug. 25, 2015
Are we human beings the only ones who don’t understand the weather, the season or the environment? With the odd frost times, the warm winters, the lack of snow and rain, we don’t know what to expect. Is it global warming or just El Niño?
August is usually the time of year around here when we can’t tell indoors from outdoors. In past years we were excited, because the soil was finally warm, the plants seemed happy and we could go barefoot without that cold, damp feeling underfoot. This year, it’s different.
July 29, 2015
NEW — 10:50 a.m. July 29, 2105
If you have ever been jealous of gardeners in Eastern Washington who grow big Beefsteak tomatoes by the buckets full, this would’ve been a good year to put up a challenge.
Every year, I struggle to get a few Sun Golds and Sweet 100s from pots on my shady deck, while those people east of the mountains are downing giant, sweet, juicy, fresh-picked tomatoes by the dozen. It is not fair.
June 25, 2015
In April, I wrote about the beautiful spring we were having. It was dry and sunny for so many days. It didn’t dawn on me that in April we might have to water.
I have never watered that early, usually not until June. My yard doesn’t use much water; it’s mostly natives with a few special plants and containers that need spot watering.
April 28, 2015
This spring’s weather is beautiful, one of the best we’ve had.
Either that or I’m just in a good mood right now. But it does remind me of past springs with nice memories of my childhood yard and in particular, our tool shed. It wasn’t a real shed; it was part of our big, old garage that was built for carriages in 1908. It had a hayloft upstairs and little paned windows for light, rather like an Andrew Wyeth painting.
March 25, 2015
The spring equinox is upon us. People traditionally greet it with incredible joy.
Some happy, spirited souls might throw a giant feast; students stay up all night and consume too much liquor. Others might dance the night away, while some unusual folks do strange things. I don’t know what you might like to do to celebrate the end of winter — the termination of scarcity, and the return of hope and plenty.
February 24, 2015
It looks like we are having a very early spring this year. Many of us will not be gardening and pruning early enough to keep up with the “El Niño” conditions.
Usually, February is a good time to dig and move plants, prune fruit trees and roses, cut back ornamental grasses, and just get ready for the growing season. This year, most plants are way ahead of schedule.
September 23, 2014
I was down at Boehm’s the other day. The weather was gray but warm, and I was feeling a little flat.
When I got out of my car I sniffed the air to see if I could find the wonderful scent of chocolate. I couldn’t. I couldn’t because the smell of a fantastic rose overcame everything. It flooded the parking lot, the air and me. It was terrific. I was uplifted just by that smell.
The sense of smell is very strong and capable of bringing back images and memories that we think are lost, including childhood experiences or maybe a fantastic meal. A nice memory can lift your mood and change a cloudy day into a sunny one. I’m not sure if you can overload your senses or not, but it would be fun to try.
September 2, 2014
In going through my Issaquah Press files, I found an article from August 2009 that expressed my exact, same feelings this year. This summer must be a repeat of the one in 2009.
Spring in Issaquah is always cool and wet, right? In summer, we have high temperatures in the 70s, right? And we see cloud cover day after day after day, right? Not this year. This year, the sun, the temperatures and the days without rain have just blown us all away.
July 29, 2014
A few years ago, a friend of mine from the East Coast visited her son in Seattle. She is a professional floral designer with an eye for the artistic, as opposed to the scientific.
We decided it would be fun to visit a nursery together and check out the plants. We each grabbed a cart and started out across the colorful, lush, potted landscape. She started filling her cart with everything colorful and beautiful. I was interested in odd specimens and natives that fit the peculiar conditions in my yard. We went our separate ways for a while, searching and looking at each and every morsel.
May 27, 2014
Years and years of trial and error have taught them what works, and it seems to work on all levels, not just aesthetics. English gardens seem to make plants, animals, good insects and Mother Nature all smile in appreciation.
For example, they might plant early daffodils under a Corylopsis bush. Why? There are many reasons, and these are a few: First, the Corylopsis will keep frost off the ground when the daffodils are trying to bloom. Second, the shrub allows plenty of sun on the daffodils with its sparse branching and bare limbs in winter. And finally, the shrub leafs out and spares us the indignity of looking at the old, dead and dying leaves of the daffodils.