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May 7, 2011

Vegetable Garden 2011 - #1

Garden 2011

God this has been a terrible April. It has been cold with several days of snow and hail. We did not even have one day above 60 degrees until almost the end of April. But it was a tease. It turned around and went back to the rain and col. We even broke a record for the coldest April. May isn't turning out to be any better. We had a nice day on Sunday but like before Monday was windy cold and rainy. I am craving heat and sun.

Everything is behind about 3 weeks this year. The tulips are still in bloom in the Skagit Valley. They are usually finishing up by the end of April. The cherries are still in bloom and many of the trees have not yet leafed out. And our vegetable garden is behind by almost three weeks.

We created a new bed for our peas this year hoping to avoid the problems we have had the past two years. We planted the peas mid-March but they didn't even germinate for three weeks. They were tiny two inch plants until just this week and a few of them are starting to grow.

We got brave and put the lettuce out this week. The tomatoes are coming along fine in the greenhouse but we don't expect to put them out for at least three more weeks. Sigh... who knows if anything will even ripen.

There has been lots of talk about how our springs are getting colder. It turns out that it is actually a cycle and we are going back into a pattern of cold Springs similar to 1960-1970s. Bah.... I can't believe I'm actually wishing it was like the '80s!

The one bright surprise was the lovely blue mecenopsis poppy that is blooming behind the greenhouse. We got it last year at Lakewold Garden. Unfortunately it is a biennial so it will probably bloom and die. But such a beauty.

Vegetable starts on April 23rd

Garden 2011
Lettuce and Rainbow Chard

Garden 2011
Tomatoes moving up to 4" pots

Garden 2011
Peas waiting for the heat

Garden Beds and plants - May 7th

Garden 2011
Lettuce planted

Garden 2011
Peas finally starting to grow now that the nights are above 40 degrees

Garden 2011
Tomatoes coming along in the greenhouse

Garden 2011
Everything else waiting

Blue Poppy

Garden 2011

Lovely sky blue in color

Garden 2011
It really is that color!


Previous Year Gardening posts:

Vegetable Garden 2009 - #1 May 7, 2009 (look at those tomatoes!)
Vegetable Garden 2010 - #1 April 17, 2010 (Even ahead of this year!)

May 19, 2011

May Minus Tides

Edmonds Marina Park at a May Minus Tide

I love the minus tides that happen every year in May and June. If I am lucky, they will happen on a day when I am off work and the weather is good. You never know - especially this year. But everything aligned and this week was warm and sunny. And it was minus tide time.

I happened to have to work late on Thursday. Part of my job is to cover Asia-Pacific. So when my co-worker in Sydney takes a day off, I work a late shift - 3:30pm to 12:00am. It can be tough especially switching between my normal 10-6pm shift and the late shift. I had to cover for him on Thursday so I decided to make the most of it.

First I headed to the Edmonds Marina to have lunch at Anthony's . I has seating outside along my walk path. I got there about 11:45 and got a nice table overlooking the Marina. It was a little cool but not bad. I had the Blue Plate special which was scampi and a nice cold Weise beer from Pike Brewery.

I decided to walk a bit after lunch and headed towards Marina Park. The Olympic Mountains were visible in the distance and still dappled in snow. As I crossed over the bridge to the park, I saw how far out the tide was and remembered it was Minus tide week. WooHooo.

I headed out to the tide flats. There is a dog off-leash area next to the park and all the dog owners were taking advantage of the extra beach area. The dogs were having so much fun running, splashing, sniffing and digging in the sand. There were also several groups of young children - probably part of a pre-school splashing through the tide pools in brightly covered rubber boots.

I walked and walked - slipping and sliding over the eel grass and ribbon seaweek. The sun was warm, the air salty - the day perfect! I still had to go to work but it was so much easier after having spent the day at the beach.

Minus Tide in Edmonds

Minus Tide in Edmonds

Minus Tide in Edmonds

Minus Tide in Edmonds

Minus Tide in Edmonds

Minus Tide in Edmonds
Moon Snail

Minus Tide in Edmonds
Starfish and seaweed

Minus Tide in Edmonds
A moon snail egg casing (looks like a tire) and seaweed

May 21, 2011

Bloedel Reserve - Part 1


I don't know why it took us so long to visit Bloedel Reserve. Maybe because it is on Bainbridge Island and a ferry ride away. Maybe we did not like you previously had to reserve a visit. We known of the garden for many years but just never made the time to visit.

We finally made a point to visit this year during their open garden and plant sale in late April. Of course, the day was cold and dark but it did not stop of from enjoying the garden. The garden is the estate of Prentice and Virginia Bloedel. Prentice was the head of the Canadian timber company McMillan Bloedel. They were the British Columbia equivalent of Weyerhaeuser until they were bought out by Weyerhaeuser in 1999. Prentice retired in 1952 and moved to the property that they had purchased on Bainbridge Island where they spent over 30 years creating the reserve.

It is quite amazing. It is over 150 acres which are broken into several different section or gardens. One of the main gardens is the Japanese Garden which includes a lovely guest house, zen garden and pond. The Japanese garden was created by Fujitaro Kubota who also created Kubota Gardens. There is also a moss garden. Who knew moss could be so beautiful. It feels wild but controlled. The path through the moss garden leads to the lovely reflection pond. It was cold and dreary but you could imagine a summery garden party within the walls of yew. The paths intertwine and meander to the house or out to the wild bogs and ponds on the edge.

Here are some pictures of these sections of the garden. I will do another post showing the waterfall and birch gardens. We hope to enjoy it again in another season.

Bloedel Reserve - Bainbridge Island
Start of the moss garden

Bloedel Reserve - Bainbridge Island
Moss and stones and trees and snags give the garden a wild NW feel

Bloedel Reserve - Bainbridge Island
Skunk cabbage along the creek

Bloedel Reserve - Bainbridge Island
Reflecting Pool

Bloedel Reserve - Bainbridge Island
Entrance to Zen and Japanese Garden

Bloedel Reserve - Bainbridge Island
Zen Garden and Guest House

Bloedel Reserve - Bainbridge Island
Pool and garden below guest house

Bloedel Reserve - Bainbridge Island
Looking back to guest house

Bloedel Reserve - Bainbridge Island
One of the magnificent pink Magnolia in bloom

Bloedel Reserve - Bainbridge Island
The Estate House

Bloedel Reserve - Bainbridge Island
Boardwalk across the marsh

Bloedel Reserve - Bainbridge Island
Along the path lined with Skunk Cabbage to the bird watching area

Bloedel Reserve - Bainbridge Island
Edges of the reserve

May 23, 2011

Bloedel Reserve - Part 2

Bloedel Reserve

Continuing with photos of springtime at Bloedel Reserve. My favorite area was just off the main estate house. Following down the waterfall, the path leads us to the Birch Garden and Rhododendron glen. It was a wonderland of wood land plants. Later in the spring the Rhododendrons and hydrangea bloom with woodland orchids.

Bloedel Reserve
Himalayan Birch line the path

Bloedel Reserve
Birch Glen

Bloedel Reserve - Beesia deltophylla
Beesia deltophylla - I love these leaves

Bloedel Reserve - Podophyllum pleianthum
Podophyllum pleianthum - Mayapple

Bloedel Reserve - Erythronium revolutum
Local Pink fawn lily - Erthyronium revolutum

Bloedel Reserve - Trillium sessile
Not our west coast trillium - Trillium sissile from the east coast

This page contains all entries posted to Postcards from the Trail in May 2011. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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