Monday, April 25, 2016

Spring 2016 - A move and a new garden

I moved in 2015 - August.  I am now in Shoreline - a Seattle suburb about 5 miles from my old place.  I have a much bigger garden, but still not many places with full sun.  It turns out that real estate in Seattle is pretty rare to find any homes with gardens, and those with gardens tend to have quite a bit of shade - usually by neighbors trees - so there isn't anything to do about it.  While I am sure there are exceptions where you can find a property with a garden (and I found one!), and with full sun exposure too...

They have to be quite expensive - views / gardens are hard to come by.

I have a ton of garden projects going on...  I'll add pictures as I find time to upload.

The house I moved into had a full basketball court - I should have taken a before / after, but I am not a pro-blogger who thinks about it all in advance.

I spent a weekend in October 2015 with a crew of about 6 guys, two of which were running 90lb jack-hammers the entire time.  It took a day to break it apart (back breaking work) and about a week to remove all the rubble.

We left behind about 1/4 of the slab intact for a patio / deck.  Its still sort of unfinished, but its there waiting to be transformed in to a little dining oasis.

Once all of that concrete was removed, I called Cedar Grove  and they were able to hose 30 yards of municipal compost (no wheel barrows!).  Cedar grove compost wasn't my first choice, but it was the best option for the amount I required, and for their ability to hose it in.  I am actually really pleased with it.  I didn't really mix it in to the packed clayey / silty subsoil - I just put it right on top, and plan to mix it with the subsoil as I plant into it.  This was all done by November or so.

The new greenhouse is also now complete.
I installed a 10 X 12 greenhouse - same size as last time, but this one seems better constructed.  It took me a while to find an electrician, but it finally got done.  My poor plants sat in the garage between August and October unfortunately, they suffered.  I lost a few, but for the most part they are doing well now, and I have started sprouting my summer veggies (peppers / tomatoes)

In early spring, I decided to plant out the shaded southern side of the yard with a vine maple, and a few Indian Plum - a native shrub with early berries for the birds.  I planted a mix of grass / clover / wildflowers in the hopes it will be low maintenance and be sort of nice to look...

In January, I also started a butterfly garden in the front.  I tried a lazy-man approach and simply laid over black plastic to kill all the grass growing there.  Unfortunately, if you try that, I think you need about 10 months to make it work,
I gave it only three months before I needed to start planting for the spring.  I am excited to see what happens here.  It will be beautiful, I am not sure if everything will flower at the same time.  There is Aster, Rudbeckia, Echinacea, Sunflower, Zinnia, Heliotrope, Yarrow, Joe-Pye Weed, Milkweed, Chives, Oregano, Scabiosa, Monarda, Liatris.  A lot of nectar there!  I am hoping bees / butterfly will like it, and maybe birds come fall...   We'll see.
I also have planter box started with peas, lettuce, rocket, spinach, carrots, raspberries, blueberries, parsley and fennel.  I've also planted radish (both daikon and a 'watermelon' variety).  The tomatoes and peppers are all I have remaining room for.  I might try to find room for pumpkins, but that is a space commitment in those little narrow boxes.

Lots going on, more pictures to come.