Sunday, July 29, 2007

The Hostas

Two of the hostas are blooming. They seem very happy in the shade garden at the base of the cherry tree.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

We have peppers!

One of the Italian Sweet Relleno plants has two peppers and one of the Bulgarian Chervena Chushka plants has one pepper. And ALL of the plants have lots of flowers that will hopefully produce more peppers!

And the hillside garden continues to amaze. The lobelia are blooming!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Hummingbird sighting!

Curmudgeon and I took Diva Dog for a walk before dinner this evening. When we returned, I heard a buzz and saw a blur. We quickly looked up and noticed a hummingbird buzzing over the hillside garden. It was hovering over the mystery plant and the lavender. Ivette asked how on earth we'll get a picture of the hummingbird. I don't know yet, but I'll work on it. Here's a website that has a picture of agastache and a hummingbird: (okay, so that's cheating a little!)

I saw the hummingbird once earlier this summer. I had just finished planting the agastache (hyssop or hummingbird mint) and heard a buzzing over my head. It flew down to check out the agastache, which wasn't even blooming yet. The one we have is very fragrant - rich licorice scent. I told the hummingbird to come back in a few weeks when it was blooming. Well it's blooming now and my little feathered friend is back too! I love gardening! :-) I'll have to keep an eye on it to figure out what kind it is. We saw it a few times last summer, so we planted more things to attract it.

Here are some pictures of the hillside garden and the agastache. The garden area is about 14 ft wide by about 30 ft long. When we first moved in, the weeds (blackberries, wild clematis-like thing, morning glory and dandelions as big as your head) were dense, tall, thick and frightening. The vines came from the rock wall (that we didn't know we had for the first 2 years!) and the neighbor's yard and reached all the way to the sidewalk. We've been cutting, digging, pulling, and doing our damnedest to get them out. I even bought a machete!! Word of advice - a machete blade will throw sparks if you hit it on rocks. They aren't faking it on "Survivor." Be sure not to cut when things are too dry.

These pictures are from earlier in the spring. The agastache and lavender hadn't started blooming and we were still working on clearing out the bottom of the hill. Notice who has decided to take a nap amongst the impatiens! The red flower is a hibiscus. Oh yeah, and the striped grass which we think looks really cool with the hibiscus is actually considered a noxious weed here in WA! Ooooops!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

I hope the peppers enjoy this heat!

I hope the peppers are enjoying this heat because I'm certainly not!! Ugh. 90+ degrees in Seattle?? The East Coast had hot summers. The blast furnace prairie plains had very hot summers. Seattle is not supposed to have hot summers! So today I'm very grateful that I'm not a plant! Okay, there are many days when I'm happy I'm not a plant, but that's another story...

The peppers seem to be growing and there are more buds and some flowers now on the Italian Sweet Peppers. Ivette said she waters the box daily as the six little plants are really soaking up the water. Here are some new pictures of them. The plants are now between 8 and 9 inches tall. We should have measured them previously, but didn't. Oh well. Trust me - they're growing!

It's amazing what the right tools for the job will do. Last summer we purchased a 50 ft hose to replace the one the previous tenants left behind. Well, apparently, 50 feet is just not long enough to reach the end of the garden bed or the top of the hillside garden. Curmudgeon complained that the bronze fennel and rhubarb in the garden patch and the various plants on the hillside were not getting enough water. We recently bought a 75 foot hose and she is able to not only reach the top of the hillside garden, but also the spot where I park the car! I wonder if she'd hose down the car if I sprinkled a few flower petals on it? It could really use a bath! But I digress. One of the plants on the hillside is something we planted 2 or 3 years ago. We no longer remember what it is and cannot find the tag for it. But it is blooming more beautifully this year than any previous year! I think the longer hose and better watering is really making a difference. Here's a picture of the mystery plant. If anyone can identify it - please let us know!

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Getting Started

One sunny Saturday in July Curmudgeon had an idea. "Let's set up a blog so that Wing Nut's parents can see how their gift is progressing." In April B. and L. sent us an EarthBox. We couldn't decide what to put in the box so nothing got planted until the 4th of July. We finally decided to plant peppers: 2 Italian Sweet Relleno, 2 Chervena Chushka (sweet), 1 Ancho Tiburon (hot) and 1 Astry (hot).