Thursday, July 30, 2009

Sizzling in Seattle - by Sue Shecket, webmaster and NW trial gardener

northwest eggplant harvestMother Nature is having a lot of fun playing tricks on Northwest gardeners this year. After sharing in the cold temps and snow of Alaska all winter, we’ve now seemingly traded climate with our friends in the Northeast.

With no real rain since mid-May, and now suffering through a record breaking 100 degree heat wave, my salad greens are just a memory and the "Sungold" tomatoes and "Asian Trio"eggplant are growing like they are on steroids. tomato cages in the garden

In the spirit of recycling, I found a use for this old Renee’s Garden seed rack frame, which has a new life as jailer for my rampaging tomatoes.

On the bright side, we’ve also traded our usual attire of fleece for cool surfer shorts, and are experiencing the pleasures of sitting outside on warm summer evenings while mastering the art of grilling all that summer squash along with our great NW salmon.

vegetable garden layoutOnce again I am kicking myself for not getting around to installing that drip irrigation system for my veggie beds, as it’s been a real challenge to keep things alive and hydrated.

Here's the view from my back deck - it's a very long climb down and up from garden to kitchen, so I get lots of additional exercise points just getting there and back multiple times daily.

colorful planted flower combinationsI’ve been enjoying experimenting with color combos in the containers on my east facing deck. Here’s a shot of some of my favorites from seed - “Stained Glass” Salpiglossis, “Chantilly” Snapdragons and “Blue Ensign” Morning Glories.

begonias in the shadeI’m also a big fan of these tuberous begonias that especially enjoy my filtered morning sun and afternoon shade.

lots of french florence poppies

My neighbors always expect something spectacular to bloom in my front garden, so this year I went for lots of poppies - the French Flounce definitely got the most attention.

garden horse
My garden also benefits greatly from the post-meal contributions of our 2 horses. Here's my boy Tazo, who is definitely the Cute One in our equine family.

fall greens including Lacinato Kale, Bright Lights Chard and Jewel-Toned Beets
As soon as our “normal” weather returns, I’ll be doing my fall planting of greens, lettuce, etc. I’ve already got a good stand of "Lacinato" Kale, "Bright Lights" Chard and "Jewel-Toned" Beets, which will be long term garden residents through the fall and winter.


Susan said...

I'll trade some of our New Jersey rain for some of your hot sun!

seasons said...

Renee, I think you have our weather! We, in Sonoma Co. California would really appreciate your sending it back down here. I am still waiting for these lovely green tomatoes to turn color.
I gather Mother natures GPS is off and thinks Seattle is Santa Rosa.

Nellie said...

Hi Seasons,

Renee actually lives in the Santa Cruz mountains in California -- her sister Sue is the one who wrote the post and is experiencing all the delightful weather Mother Nature has to offer. It's bizarre!

Susan - oh New Jersey rain! I'm from Chicago so I know exactly what you're talking about. It rarely if ever rains at the Renee's Garden HQ in California, so a very nice change of pace for sure.

Anonymous said...

I like the design of Sue's garden as seen from the back deck. And the repurposing of that frame is really neat.

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