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


  1. I stalked, er followed, you here from Pinterest. I'm not much of a "follower" but it appears from your boards that we have SO much in common. Of course, fate decrees that you are on the opposite coast (why is it that I never meet potential "soul mates"...which I think can mean many people who have the same light on their soul, instead of just the one man or woman that fills your heart...that live in the next town over? *sigh*

    I'll look forward to future pins..and hopefully will figure out how to "follow" a blog correctly so I can keep up with your gardening from afar.

    Happy Holidays!

  2. Love that Cyclamen. I'm sure it would be miserable here so I'll settle for your pictures. Magellan is a gorgeous girl. Enjoy your cuddle and your book!

  3. Kitty is beeeeeeutiful.

    Wow are you ever a dedicated seed collector, and patient too.


  4. I love love love hardy cyclamen. It's like having orchids in the garden in the winter.

  5. I'm amazed at all that is in bloom yet. We've been "crispy frozen" here for almost 2 months. Still no snow though.

  6. It's great to follow your gardening progress this way, and see the little (and big) tasks as they fit into the season. It's the kind of post that would orient a newer gardener nicely to what sort of things one ought to be doing at this time of year. And I love your spiky solution to repelling neighboring cats! (I'm also a cat lover, but hate it when they poo in my soil.)

  7. You have been very busy. Love the seeds. Looks like you are making progress despite winter. Right now it is 5 degrees with a -10 windchill. I won't be up to much in the garden.

  8. I have a hard time getting motivated to go outside & tend to my gardens when the weather gets this cold. There are many tasks I need to tend to, including collecting seeds, before winter sets in.

    I noticed you have a Garden Bloggers Fling button. Have you gone in the past? If so, what did you think?

  9. Alison, your garden looks gorgeous and very tidy. You have a Martha Stewart looking garden whereas mine is more of a Roseanne Barr affair. The best part of working outside this weekend was the cuddling with the furry kids afterward! Magellan and the fire look very inviting!

  10. Your garden looks great! The hummingbirds must be happy indeed. It was cold but nice to be outside yesterday. I noticed your garden blogger fling button, too. And put it on my calendar. I hope to attend this time. Do you plan to go? Paula

  11. We're still waiting for our first frost down here...we were supposed to get one a few days ago...but (at least in my area) it failed to happen. What bulbs did you get from High Country? I've ordered plants from them before...but never bulbs.

  12. I'm in awe of your raised beds...and pretty much everything else in this post. I skipped the gardening a settled for the cat cuddle by the fire yesterday.

  13. Oh so lovley! You still have so much going on there. WE are completely finished outside for the season with just the bones of the gardens doing their thing this time of year

  14. You are a great seed collector. I have mine still with their chaff. Oh well. Love your raised beds! How nice. My oakleaf hydrangeas are finally bright red fall foliage. Hope yours gets its red color soon.


Gardening is a solitary activity. But blogging about it is a social phenomenon! I don't make money from my blog by advertising, or use it to drive customers to a business. If you liked my post, or my writing or photography, or even just one picture or turn of phrase, I'd love to hear from you. That's how I get paid.