frog friend

Well I am not going to say much today, too sick. I think it is just wrong to be sick when it is sunny out, illnesses should not be able to live during nice weather.
 All I have today is a friend we keep finding in the lavender starts every day we water. Isaac wasn't sure what to do with this green lavender lover, it seems it was ok on his knee, but not his hand. 
Isaac can run with the biggest of our farm tenants, he isn't afraid of the big sheep or llama, but doesn't particularly like small creatures yet,  but I am confident he will grow to love them.


plant labels

It is just amazing how one day can be lusciously beautiful weather and the next turns to torrential down pours all day. I had the garden all ready to plant corn, the ground was tilled the rows were marked and hoed, all I need to do was soak the corn, plant it and watch it grow, but the rain beat me to it. Now I have to wait for another window of opportunity to get it in the ground. We did manage to find an opening in the rain , all though very brief, to get out, blow some bubbles and hope that summer is really on her way.
A fellow gardener and I were discussing plant tags, plastic or wood? I label seeds I have planted in the greenhouse or plants in pots, but I don't put the labels in the garden. I usually can remember what went where or I draw a map. As long as no one else tries to do any gardening it's not usually a problem. For my tags I like to cut up plastic milk jugs to make my plant labels, but since we don't drink milk out of plastic jugs at home we have to acquire them some where else (family members).
You can buy the plastic tags at a store (they work great), but who wants to spend the money. This is just the place for my motto "I can make that", I don't like using plastic that much, but I figure I am adhering to one of the three "R's", REUSE!. I always use both sides of the tag and recycle the plastic when I am done.Many gardeners do like to put labels in the garden though (it makes sense doesn't it). I do understand that if you put plant labels in the garden you wouldn't want the plastic tags everywhere because you would have to pick them up at the end of the year (hunt for the plastic tag game), so cardboard tags will work for the season (the do get lost easy), or those large craft tongue depressors work great, they're wide to give you plenty of room to write those long plant names.
The wood and the cardboard will just grind up with a pass of the tiller or mulch into the soil when you put you garden to bed for the season. (Of course that's not grass you see growing in my garden rows, you must be imagining things)
We did had a little fun earlier this year making decorative garden signs. My mother is the artist who panted plants pics on Fir rounds that Ty cut from the back pasture and stakes he split from some fire wood. TY then screwed the round to the stake (nailing it will split the wood), then he sanded the surface of the round just a little to make it easier to paint. After it was painted we then sprayed a sealant on it to protect it from the weather. I think they turned out really neat and would make a fun project for older kids. Now if we can only keep the dogs from pulling them out and chewing them up.
Well off to re-pot tomatoes. Remember, "someone made it, why not you".


think art

I just had to add my Lilac pictures and this very neat tree growing in the side of a cliff on the beach, to go along with the Lilly of the Valley pics. I want to take a few more flora and maybe some fauna pictures, frame each of them and hang three on chain down the wall. If you need help imagining here's a sample.  Alright not the three images I was thinking about, but I haven't gotten all of my pictures taken or put together yet, but you get the idea, just imaging the pictures framed and adjusted to relatively the same size and shape hanging like this down a chain on the wall. I think it is a really simple way to add some art to your walls that you did yourself.   
On a completely different note, yesterday my sis, a friend and I went some place amazing. First, happy birthday to them both (the reason for this awesome outing) it was so much fun. Every woman should have this experience at least once in her life, but probably more like at least once a month . The worlds problems could be solved and I guarantee that world peach could be achieved if everyone spent one day a month to go here. Are you interested yet? We went to the Olympus Spa, which is a Korean day spa and wow is it great. There are multiple relaxing pools of varying temps, steam rooms, dry rooms and you can use all of it for a totally reasonable price. As a treat we splurged and added scrubs and moisturising treatments. Let me tell you I have never been pampered like this before and I have never been cleaner (shinny new penny I think was the term used). Just so you know, it is nick named the naked spa for a reason, no swimsuits allowed in the pools, but men are not allow either so birthday suits it is. They have these places all over the US, so find one and us it. I have been asking myself how I never knew about this heavenly place before, but I am sure glad I do now.


lovely lilly

Just imagine a valley of these, can't you just smell it. I wish I could bottle it and save it to smell anytime I wanted because these special little flowers don't last long enough. I find it frustrating and a little sad that floral fragrances never smell quite the same when they come out of a bottle. I love Lilly of the Vally with it's sweet little bells tinkling in the breeze and that beautiful aroma wafting through the air, there great to put by a gate or walk way to smell as you pass by and any cute little thing that doesn't mind the shade is a good thing ( was that too Martha?).
I wanted to share a great web site that my sis showed me. It is a conglomerate of crafty tidbits from talented bloggers like many of us. You find all sorts of great things you would love to make and just don't have the time, ahh dare to dream http://craftgossip.com, check it out.


back to the grind stone

Hi everyone, we are back from a wonderful extended weekend in the San Juan Islands. It was great! There was an abundance of good weather, good food and good company. It was just the boys, Ty and I exploring some different parks and beaches, taking some great walks and having a very fun picnic at the park. It was just what we needed. I now feel rejuvenated and ready to jump back into the garden, preschool and the beginning of summer. Yes that's right I said the beginning of summer, it is right around the corner. Can you believe it is already mid May, how did that happen? I still have so many things to get into the garden and so not enough time.(Gavin caught a cozy nap under the picnic table during lunch until his brother discovered his  fun little fort.)

I definitely don't have time for many projects with summer on her way, but while we were on the many ferry crossings it takes to get to the islands I did manage to finish another wire knit bracelet. This time I went with a green color pallet and a different clasp, I think it turned out nice, I am going to add it to my Etsy shop, which is slowly growing.


got brain food?

I keep reading snippets here and there about brain foods and lucky for us one of the tastiest is the blueberry (I am not personally a fan of oysters, but their good brain food too), but our blueberry row at home needed some help. I had a little encouragement from a friend recently and by encouragement I mean she came over with a shovel and a pick-up truck full of cedar sawdust and started hacking into the blueberry row (I couldn't let her do it all by herself). You see we have neglected it over a few years and it was starting to look like part of the lawn with blueberry bushes as weeds. Well, we fixed that by pulling up the grass and then adding cedar sawdust throughout the row. Blueberries love acidic soil and cedar is just that, it also turns out that weeds don't love acidic soil and take longer to come back, it is a win win kind of situation. We are devising a net system next so when the plants actually start producing those tiny brain boosters we can keep the birds from getting them (we wouldn't want them to get any smarter than they already are!). By the way, blueberries are not too tough to take cutting of and propagate your self. A heat pad, perlite mix and a rooting hormone and in a few months you should have small blueberry bushes. Hardwood cutting are the easiest to root, but soft wood will work.
Another grow your own food to smarten you up (as if you not already, I mean you are growing your own food how much smarter can you get) Kale, Chard, Collards, almost all leafy dark green veggies are intelligence builders and they are so easy to grow and there are some great recipes out there, so I guess there are no excuses.


Happy Windy Cinco de Mayo

April showers bring wind storms to blow down May flowers? I can't remember any day (let alone in May) the we have had such strong sustained winds all night and day, it is very strange and is not conducive to gardening in any way(unless in the greenhouse).
Our first farmers markets of the season started this last weekend. A kind and good hearted friend of mine has a stand and lets us share with them since I really don't have enough product to fill my own tent. Maybe when the peas and other garden goodies come out I might, it does make it a little easy on yourself if you can share babysitting the stand with someone (I haven't took my turns yet but I will). Anyway, she is doing two markets per weekend, a larger market on Saturday and a smaller more informal one on Sunday that doesn't last as long. Had I had been more prepared I might have more crafts to sell, but right now it is mostly starts that I had too many of in the greenhouse. My goal is to make enough money to pay for this years seed and potting soil. On a side note I wanted to share my favorite potting soil with everyone, it is a great mix of soil, sand, perlite and many other tid bits, it is just great for seed starting, I don't use a special seed starting mix anymore.
Back to farmers market items, I wanted to add to our very small medicinal herb garden this year so I started lots of Blue Anise Hyssop, Yarrow, Echinacea, and some other goodies. I took the extras and some extra Dill, Hollyhock, Heirloom tomatoes, some Lavender I propagated last year, some extra cabbage starts and rhubarb stalks. We are not at our total goal at the end of two markets but it is that much closer.
People were interested in the starts, but were really looking for Tarragon, Rhubarb plants and other veggie starts. So while at the nursery I went on a Tarragon seed hunt, last year I looked for the plant and found out that the plants don't come out into the stores until a little later in the season (around May) maybe because their are not supposed to be hardy (although mine made it through the winter outside just fine). What I found out on my seed hunt is... you can only find Russian and not the traditional French Tarragon in seed because the French will not go to seed. I am not sure of the flavor or characteristic differences between the two, but we will find out in a few weeks since I bought the Russian seeds to start. I did earlier this season propagate my French Tarragon by pulling a few plants apart and making sure they had some root left and they are doing good. Well, gotta run, don't forget to have a cold one (what ever it is just as long as it's cold) for Cinco de Mayo


wire knit bracelet

It is amazing how everything else can go out the window when gardening season starts. I can see how blogging rates might spike during the winter months, but I'm not ready to quit just yet, I think I need to get into a routine of blogging after the boys have gone to bed (yeah, we'll see if that ever happens).
I also needed a project to show everyone, not that I don't have something going constantly, but I wanted something finished and without roots and dirt attached to it.
And here it is, Ta Da... I finally made it through a whole wire bracelet, it took me a few goes but I got it and I put it on Etsy. By the way, you might notice my new Etsy shop link on the left, it took me a while but I finally got that up and running also (I feel pretty accomplished today). We will see what comes of it. Wire knit bracelets are surprising easy (as long as you don't let a two year old get a hold of it and you make sure you are have enough beads and wire). I already have another one in the works. They are just about as close to instant gratification as you can get with knitting and a little bit brainless so I can even do them with little distractions running around.
Speaking of little distractions, I had to add a few pictures of my farm boys and our farm fashion when we are gettin' stuff done , are they cute or what! Bye for now.

Inspirational Growing Quotes

"Gardening requires lots of water-most of it in the form of perspiration."
~ Lou Erickson, www.quotegarden.com