Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Sunchokes revisited

Here are my two sunchoke patches. After reading how the variety I chose may prove difficult to break dormancy, I was pleasantly surprised how quickly they responded.

Here's one behind the cistus.

And another just on the other side and behind the asphodel.

Not bad for growing in poor soil and getting minimal water. I can't wait to see them flower. Just hoping that the weather starts to warm up a bit more!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


I managed to snag a few cherries from our tree the other day. Yum! Finally after a month later than usual.

We have what look like Rainier cherries, but I have heard that most cherry trees of this type in Seattle are techincally the Queen Anne variety. And it's an old tree. This year was supposed to be a heavy-yielding crop. Not so for some reason, and what a disappointment after having to wait for so long! I have tried to figure out why my tree is so stingy this year.

The blossoms were quite prolific this spring I thought for sure I was going to have a bumper crop. But, as the fruits started to develop, I had a ton of "drop." Spent flowers with barely a hint of a cherry fell all over the ground. Maybe it was the weather? Too much wet and cold to get things going?

My other theory is that a major add-on happened next door. My cherry tree is quite close to the fence. And to my horror, the contractors took the liberty in "pruning" the branch that hung over the fence. I wish someone had told me it was in the way. I would have gladly done the job myself. Now, I don't think the pruning of the branch is the cause of low yield. I do wonder if all the heavy equipment and the new foundation pour lead to stress. I have quite a bit of suckering in my garden that makes me lean towards this theory.

Anyway, enough of that. I savored these wonderful cherries in the little sun we've had lately. I just need a taller ladder to reach the rest of them before they all fall to the ground!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Never mind the poor summer weather we're having these days. Slugs and snails have me down more than our grey skies.

I had wonderful looking marigolds at the end of spring. They were healthy, robust and oh so cute with their orange and red flowers--the Bonanza Bee. I plunked in a boarder all along the beds in my backyard.

Then slowly but surely, all of them were devoured and turned into little sticks of nothing. I didn't even get a chance to photograph the plants when they looked good. In a matter of a couple of weeks, I didn't have a single marigold to speak of!

Here are a couple of beauties.


I don't know why marigolds are a favorite with slugs. I even had this discussion with my mom. She confesses bringing out the slug bait only when she was planting marigolds. I thought the pungent smell of their foliage and flowers would deter them. I guess not!

The other plants the slugs are after are my Charentais melon. Why they don't touch the Hannah's Choice muskmelon baffles me. Luckily I started a bunch so I've been replacing them as they get munched.

I just used the last of my stockpile of starts. I'm hoping a third planting is a charm. Fingers crossed!

On a happier note, my sunchokes broke dormancy and have been growing strong for about a month now. Woohoo!