Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

It's Been A While...

It's been a while since I posted on my blog, not since Halloween. We finally had a hard frost. The weather the last few days has taken a turn for the cold, with temps down in the low 30s or (last night at least) upper 20s, and barely reaching the mid-40s at the height of the day. Plenty of sun, but it's winter sun, so it stays low in the sky and provides no warmth. There's been no rain, but a few clouds. It's a feature of this part of the country that when it turns this cold, the rain pretty much goes away. Except for every so often, when it's cold and it snows. But snow is fairly rare.

I did go out and do a touch of gardening the last couple of days, but only for a couple of hours, in mid-day, mostly cutting back and tidying up. I came in with frozen, aching fingers.

After last night's low temp, the Dahlias, Hostas, and any other tender perennials are mush. But there are a few hardy individuals out there (like me) that are actually still flowering, if not strongly.



Toad Lily

Cyclamen hederifolium



Arbutus unedo 'Compacta'

Salvia greggii

Geranium 'Confetti' has tiny profuse flowers, the size of Herb Robert, but with pretty cream-splashed leaves, and not quite so stinky.

Sheffield mums

I pass this huge Fuchsia magellanica on my way to the veggie beds. The hummers are still out there fighting over who gets to sip from its flowers.

This Canna in the stream has a flower bud, and it hasn't died back yet, even with our recent cold. I wonder if it will make it.

This foliage bed is looking pretty good.

In fact, the Hydrangea quercifolia which is its centerpiece still has mostly green leaves. Like many fellow PNW bloggers, it doesn't want to admit that fall is here.

I planted my garlic and shallots here in my raised bed a few weeks ago, and they are sprouting nicely. There's spinach, carrots, and kale under the plastic hoophouse.

French shallots


About a week ago I cleared everything out of the other veggie bed, amended the soil with chicken manure and mushroom compost, and stuck sharp wooden skewers into the soil at regular intervals to deter the neighborhood cats. So far, it seems to be working, there were footprints one day, but no disturbed soil or nasty surprises.

In the spring, tomatoes will go in the far end of this bed, and probably onions and lettuce in the near end.

I still have an order of bulbs from High Country Gardens to put in

I've been collecting seeds, putting them in paper bags to dry, and then sorting them from the chaff. The toothpick makes a great tool for sorting seeds.

Echinacea seeds and chaff
Echinacea seeds all cleaned up -- tedious work

Seeds drying in paper bags

I think it's time to sit by the fire with a cat (her name is Magellan)  and a good book