Thursday, April 17, 2008

Evidence of Nasturtium and Sweet Peas!

This time of year, I get a little impatient with two things: the emerging veggies and the weather.

I am watching the blank spaces of soil I know have seeds underneath them. The fava beans should be showing some sign of life by now, but there is nothing. I am a little worried a busy squirrel has ran off with a stash of my beans. There are small foot prints near where I poked them through the ground.

It's also possible that they're just slow. The seed packet claims that I will have germination in 7-12 days. It's been 22 days since planting. My patience wears thin.

On the other hand, my nasturtiums and sweet peas have emerged. Like a watched pot never boils, it may very well be that a blank patch of soil will never sprout. I hadn't hovered over them for a week, and here they are.

This little nasturtium sprout is too cute.

I finally have two sweet pea shoots.

Now for the weather. I am in total denial about the looming snow forecast for this weekend. Of course, Mother Nature needs to remind us we're not past the "frost-free date" yet. I have always been told that this date for Seattle is April 20. Checking the Farmer's Almanac online, it says March 24 is our last frost date and we have a growing season of 232 days. This seems quite generous for our area.

At least I haven't started planting my tomato and eggplant starts. I know better than that. I hope the little ones brave enough to break through the soil will make it.

But, then again, it's not going to snow, right?

Sunday, April 6, 2008

"Window Shopping" at City People's

I've been looking for a ground cover to plant underneath my fig tree. The area stays quite shady and a bit dry since the fig steals most of the water. I was thinking of Omphaloides nitida, or "navelwort," so I took a trip to City People's. Plus, I was in the neighborhood so my trip was inevitable.

I found the straight species in a 1-gallon size and the cultivar 'Starry Eyes' that has a white stripes on the petals. Both seemed a bit on the pricey side for me so I decided to think it over. It started to rain as I ducked into the store.

Before I knew it, there I was, looking at the seed racks. I scooped up three packets of Renee's Garden seed: Cerinthe major purpurescens (honeywort), Italian sage, and Thai Chiles Duo. Scroll down within each link to find more info and photos on each one from Renee.

I'm such a sucker! But, I have plans for each one of these. The honeywort will be a great filler in the front garden, and it's a hardy perennial. I just passed a neighbor's yard the other day and they already have plants about to bloom.

The Italian sage will be great in the front garden as well, and my friend just gave me some pots she isn't using anymore. It will look great next to my potted oregano and mint.

The Thai Chile Duo I'm hoping will stay small, but fruit like crazy. I want to make a center piece for my outdoor table this summer for all those 'al fresco' dinners I'm looking forward to.