Monday, February 20

A few photos from the Yard, Garden & Patio Show-Portland, OR

Each ceramic ball is a fountain. Love the different colors and the different sizes of the balls add interest
Pathway from the contemporary Japanese Tea House Garden
A living wall within a window frame. Everyone really seemed to love this idea. Very cute!
Hard to believe that this dramatic fountain is inside the Oregon Convention Center
Loved this fairy garden. It was in a low rectangle pot that looked like a tiny raised bed on a stand.

Sunday, February 12

Yard, Garden & Patio Show-Portland

Starts this weekend. Friday, February 17th-19th at the Oregon Convention Center. We plan to attend Friday and if we do actually make it we will be sure to post photos and a recap of the show. Can't wait!

Thursday, February 9

Strawberries:Seed vs Bare Root Plants

This year we added "yellow strawberries" to our seed list. This video talks about how difficult it is to grow strawberries from seed. After watching this I ordered some back up root stock from Territorial Seeds for my Portland community garden. Has anyone had any luck growing strawberries from seed?



Sunday, February 5

Note to Michele

It may be winter, but we're starting to think about spring around our house. Just the other day my son said “I need to see something growing!” So, he broke up some garlic and planted the cloves in a pot on the windowsill. Today, I noticed the leaves are about 4 inches high already.  Other than the Halloween snow storm, it’s been a relatively mild winter here, so we can't complain, but it will be nice to get back to gardening.

My children and I are contemplating a community garden plot again. I’m leaning toward growing our garden entirely at home, but the kids think they might like to have a community garden again. So the jury is still out on that one. I’m having a lot of fun on Pinterest with my gardening board that’s full of all manner of garden inspiration. My son and I are looking at some thrifty ideas for making a greenhouse of re-purposed materials. Most likely this will just stay in the dream stage, but if ever it does become a reality, it could be a very good thing. He’s always wanted a greenhouse and starting seeds would definitely be much easier.
My daughter is asking to plant more flowers this year, so I told her we could. I think we’ll try starting seeds inside again, learning from last year and hopefully having better results this year. I agree that the exotic plants, while really interesting, were not practical for our growing conditions. Live and learn! As far as seed catalogs, it seems most gardeners I’ve spoken with here order from Johnny’s. I’ve heard their seeds are perfect for the Northeast.

I’m thinking of trying more herbs and salad plants as that is what we use most. We actually had some of last year’s cinnamon lettuce last right up through Christmas. It was tough and bitter but I fed it to our pet guinea pigs and they loved it.
The 2012 seeds look really exciting! I’m glad to hear you were gifted some plant markers. Those will be quite an improvement from popsicle sticks, that’s for sure. I’ll be interested in hear the uses you find for your new dehydrator. I used mine to dry a lot of herbs last fall, as well as some orange slices to make Christmas ornaments.   

Keep  me posted!

Friday, February 3

Note to Caroline: 2012 Seeds have arrived

My seeds have arrived. I can't believe that in a month or so it will be time to start planting here (hopefully!). I will post my selection of 2012 seeds soon so that we can decide what seeds we will share this year. As we discussed earlier there will not be too many exotic varieties since we had awful luck with anything exotic or unusual. I think your Dad was right when he informed you that most of the unusual varieties would not grow. I think the only exotic sounding seed I ordered this year was variety of  yellow strawberries.

As you know most of the seeds came from Baker Creek, but I also ordered more strawberries and potatoes from Territorial Seed Company. Everyone orders from Territorial Seed Company around here. They are based in Cottage Grove, Oregon.

Another change from last year is that I going light, so to speak, on summer vegetables like peppers, egg plant and tomatoes. They just don't grow that great here. Spring and Winter crops do very well here because of the cool, mild climate.

Not sure if I told you that I received some great metal identification markers (no more popsicle sticks) and a dehydrator for Christmas. I am really looking forward to growing some more herbs for teas and cooking.

Have you decided where you are going to order your seeds from or if you will even order seeds this year. One other question I have is whether you will keep your community garden plot?
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