It Doesn’t Look Like Much

I had this vision, this plan, this wonderful idea. We’d cover the tennis court in vines, and I’d no longer feel guilty for never using it.

Not only would we cover all that chain-link fence in vines, we’d make them edible, so they’d be beautiful and beneficial. That’s where kiwis come in. I get all these seed catalogs in the mail and read about fabulous fruit trees and berries that will make my heart sing.

Raintree Nursery boasted a variety of kiwi vines. They grow in Russia, our little valley is a little more hospitable than Siberia. We should be good. Now these are not the fuzzy kiwis you buy at the grocery store; these are what they’ve coined “kiwi berries”. They’re smaller, and you don’t have to peel them. If you believe everything you read, they’re going to be the next big thing at all the farmer’s markets.

I’m not that gullible, but they did sound intriguing, and they could cover a lot of fence. Of course, you do need a boy and a girl, and I decided to add another variety of female just to mix things up. My idea was to cover the fence facing the house.

The MR, always logical, pointed out that the soil was bad, with the retaining wall the vines are quite far from the fence, there’s no irrigation, and the last thing we planted there died. With the recent fence issues, animals eating my onions and ripping up carrots, I decided maybe there’s room in the garden after all.

So here’s the start of my kiwi empire: one male…

And two females.

I’m hopiing the male revives after his time on the deck, otherwise we’re in trouble. But in happier news just look at the honeysuckle. It’s been awhile, but it’s finally taking off.

By the end of summer, the fence will be covered in vines, and the sweet scent of honeysuckle will fill the air as I weed my little garden.

Until then, I’ll leave you with a little found beauty. Remember when the MR had the guy come and rip out all most of the blackberries last fall? Well, around all the dead brambles, foxgloves have begun to sprout up, and you know how I feel about foxgloves.

Wildflowers make me smile.

What makes you smile?




Spring in the Meadow & a Gift

The MR gave me a present this weekend. It was shiny, and sparkly, and new, and oh-so practical–he is an engineer, you know. He gave me a tap in the kitchen garden.

Garden Tap


Remember last month when I was trying to fill my Walls O Water? Baby Girl ran the hose off the deck, and I filled a tub with water and then schlepped it back and forth. (Check it all out here.) It was not fun, it was not easy, it was not pretty, but it worked.

The MR was out of town at the time, but he did hear me complain/tell the story one or two times, and he took it to heart. He really does listen to me now and then.

So when most people would be hanging out at barbecues and relaxing on Memorial Day Weekend, my guy was digging a ditch, laying pipe, and rewiring the sprinkler system. Now water is situated conveniently next to my garden, I don’t have to run the sprinklers just to turn on my outside tap, and filling a watering can just got a whole lot easier–thanks hon’!

If you have sharp eyes, you may have noticed that the broccoli is tipping over. Strong winds were blowing on Sunday and Monday, and if you’ve ever worn a full skirt on a breezy day, you know what happens–just think Marilyn Monroe.

Blown Over BroccoliNo worries, I set them aright and patted them in. They look marvelous, and so do the spinach and beets. We’ve already enjoyed some spinach cuttings in our salads, and the beets will definitely be ready when my other beet lovers arrive in mid-June.

Broccoli Beets and Spinach

In case you’re wondering, the other garden bed doesn’t look quite as lush. The lettuce from the local farm stand is growing well, and a few lettuce and carrot seeds have sprouted, but the second sowing of peas was a bust.

Lettuce Bed


One great thing about gardening in the Pacific Northwest is our long growing season. An evil bird is waking me up every morning a touch before sunrise at 5:20 am, and we haven’t even reached our days with 16 hours of sunlight. And when is the first frost expected? Not till mid-October. I have plenty of time to fail and try again.

One thing I love about late May is the abundance of wildflowers in the meadow. Me and the MR that first year we moved in were talking about planting lavender on the hillsides for beautiful color. So one sunny day, I trekked to the bottom of the meadow only to find we had no need; it was already blanketed in beautiful foxgloves. (Check out a A Swath of Purple.)

Well last year, we were a little over-zealous with the mowing in the upper meadow, so this year we’re enjoying daisies and dandelions instead of foxgloves.

Daisy MeadowThey’re still pretty, just on a more subdued level. If we leave it unmown this summer, I’m hoping the foxgloves will be back next year. It’s not all a loss. I just have to wander a little further afield to find my favorite flowers.

Foxgloves in the lower meadow

The MR mowed a path so I wouldn’t get lost in the tangle of grass and brambles making it easy to  find my way back home.

Freshly Mowed

If you look really hard, you can see him calling for me to join him on the deck. Another beautiful sunset is just waiting to be enjoyed.

Foxgloves and House ZoomHow was your Memorial Day Weekend? Enjoying any wildflowers?