The hummingbird visitor

August 14, 2009

A couple of weeks ago, shortly after planting my new lavender plant a hummingbird came into the deck garden. I was so excited and tried to get my camera but I was unsucessful. I have seen the hummingbird a couple times now and I was finally sucessful with getting a picture this week. Forgive the quality of the pictures, I took them through our glass sliding door.

hummingbird1

hummingbird2

garden week 4- the aphids are taking over!

August 10, 2009

By late June all was well in the garden but Sean noticed some funky looking dots on the leaves of some of the pepper plants, in particular the yellow belle pepper plant. We looked and sure enough the underside of the leaves of the plant were covered in aphids. Also there were a couple large ugly black bugs with orange on their back inhabiting the leaves too. We didn’t know what they were, so Sean decided to quarentine the plant by putting in a plastic garbage bag. We went out and talked it over with his parents and found out that indeed we had aphid but we also had baby lady bugs (the ugly black bugs).  After finding all of this out we came home, researched organic ways to kill the pests and save the plant.

By mixing a little bit of oil with water and spraying the plants leaves and then wiping away the bugs we were sucessful for the time being. Although the plant suffered greatly from be in a bag for a long period of time so we weren’t sure if it would make it. This would not be the last of the aphids.

one of the first edible flowers in bloom

one of the first edible flowers in bloom

a lady bug on the basil- a couple days before we discovered why it would be in the garden

a lady bug on the basil- a couple days before we discovered why it would be in the garden

the tomatoes and herbs

the tomatoes and herbs

pimentoes

pimentoes with aphids!

baby belle peppers

baby belle peppers

aerial shot of the pepper plants and my seedlings

aerial shot of the pepper plants and my seedlings

more tomatoes

more tomatoes

The flourishing garden- Week 3

July 10, 2009
tomatoes growing big and strong

the same set of tomatoes from last week growing big and strong

By late June our deck garden was growing at a speedy rate thanks in part to the unusually sunny weather. My tomatoes were already becoming giants and the plants themselves were taking over the deck. In fact the tomato plants had grown and spread so much at this point that the branches were growing outside of the constraints of the deck railings. The seedling were starting to take off, even the swiss chard seeds that I had planted only a week before. All was well in the small deck garden.

the tomato plants taking over part of the deck

the tomato plants taking over part of the deck

the other side of the deck- peppers and seedlings starting to sprout

the other side of the deck- peppers and seedlings starting to sprout

a side view of the tomato plants spreading outside of the deck

a side view of the tomato plants spreading outside of the deck

the pimento peppers blooming

the pimento peppers blooming

my first kale sprout

my first swiss chard sprout

New Additions- The Garden Week 2

July 9, 2009

By mid-June I had the garden up and running. Everything was taking root nicely so I decided to make a couple more additions.  We had leftover seeds from last year of dill and kale, so I started those in their own individual pots as well as some parsley from seed too. I had a bit of gardening paranoia set in, my thinking was that all of my seedlings could not possibly all grow in so I have to plant more to make up for that. Suficed to say, I have since learned my lesson.

I know this might sound a bit strange, but there is something magical about planting something from seed. You watch it through all stages of it’s existance, day by day, week by week. The plants cycle of life and death I suppose.Although don’t get me wrong I still very much enjoy my plants that came from starters, especially the tomatoes.

baby tomatoes growing ever so fast

baby tomatoes growing ever so fast

the tomatoes in the corner with herbs and a lettuce planter surrounding them

the tomatoes in the corner with herbs and a lettuce planter surrounding them

the peppers, basil and the new seedlings in their pots

the peppers, basil and the new seedlings in their pots

Going back to school

July 2, 2009

Today is my first day of school. I am going back to school for a paralegal certification after getting my bachelor’s degree last year. Up until last year I felt as though I had been in school my whole life so in a way it was a relief to graduate. I started day care at two months old and then pre-school at 3 and then regular school at 5, so in a sense I was in school my whole life. Although day care is not really school it still takes a child out of their home for eight hours a day, so in that way it is similar to school.

School was always something I looked forward to. There was a sense of security school provided through the routine of the day and the lessons that comforted me. However, I would have major anxiety starting school when I had to start a brand new school. My stomach would turn into knots at the prospect of having to make a whole new set of friends by lunch time of the first day. My mother liked to move, so I went to eight different public schools primarily within the elementary and middle school ages. Yet somehow I found my way through the system and was able to be successful.

I feel that I am a much stronger and confident person than I have been in the past but I must admit I still do get the knotted stomach feeling for the those first few moments in class.

school

My first day of 1st grade and a new school with my sister Leona circa 1991

You know you are an earth sign when….week one of the garden

June 25, 2009

So yes, let’s get it out there right in the open….I am Taurus so I do love my home which includes my garden. Although it has taken me a while to fully appreciate the gifts that a garden can produce, I am now forever grateful to it. Below is the story behind this year’s summer garden, enjoy!

baby tomatoes

baby tomatoes

I started a small garden on our deck this year after being inspired by my fiancée Sean’s garden last year on our deck. Admittedly, I was skeptical last year about the amount of produce we could actually grow on our apartment deck. I was also not as into cooking as I am now, which every good cook knows nothing beats garden fresh produce. We started off by planting some herbs together this year but Sean got busy and tired from work while my job ended and I had the time to attend the garden. So that brings us to the present where I am the keeper of the deck garden and Sean is the observer/reaper of the benefits.

The garden started off small with just a planter of cilantro, thyme and mint along with two pots of basil but quickly grew to something much bigger. After Sean’s gardening experience of last year we learned what we wanted to plant again and what we could skip out on this year. Our culinary tastes have also changed in the past year as well, so we wanted to incorporate some different herbs like tarragon and marjoram this year too.

Another big lesson from last year was the amount of sun the garden gets, we get a ton of it. The sun our garden gets allowed us to have two large tomato plants and one green belle pepper plant last year. It was time for garden expansion this year by adding another tomato plant (3 in all) as well as five pepper plants ranging from a pimento plant to a jalapeño plant.

The pictures in this post are of the garden in it’s baby stages about the first two weeks or so. The greater Seattle area has been having unusually sunny weather recently thus the plants have grown tremendously since these first pictures. There will be weekly updates on the garden and other things in my life in the hopes that this will somehow inspire fellow apartment dwellers to start a garden on your deck or patio.

a pimento pepper coming out of the flowering stage

a pimento pepper coming out of the flowering stage waiting to be planted

baby tomatoes coming out of the flowering stage

baby tomatoes coming out of the flowering stage

a view of the tomato plants, the lettuce planter and an herb planter

a view of the tomato plants, the lettuce planter and an herb planter

more tomatoes

more tomatoes