the state of things around here


Oh boy it’s been quiet around these parts, hasn’t it? I’ve been a bit of a hermit the past few weeks. With a little vacation to Santa Cruz (Why aren’t we living the life of Capitola beach bums? I really have no good answer for that.), a new adjustment to summer routines and the last round of new window replacement happening, it’s been good to be quiet for while. Now we’ve got our summer rhythm going and the windows, the glorious, glorious new windows are done with. So let’s get back to life, shall we?

With such a dry spring and such a blasting hot summer, it’s hard to find good flowers to photograph now, but I found these two beautiful ones this morning.

A few months ago I called my mom, a fellow milkweed grower, and asked how her milkweed was doing…was it coming out of dormancy? Yes, hers had, she even sent pictures. Mine looked as dead as a doornail, but when I tugged those roots wanted to stay in the ground, so I waited and waited and sure enough, it’s a healthy and vibrant plant. Don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before, but this spring I realized that living out where we are, we are about two weeks behind what blooms in the town of Sonoma. And about three weeks to a month behind where my parents live in the East Bay. Interesting.

Despite a few hiccups the veggie garden is coming along. We made another important realization this spring: gophers love plastic. Well, at least gophers who live in these parts do. We’ve observed a few farms that use black plastic sheeting as mulch and weed suppressant, so we thought we’d give it a try too. We put it all down around the melons you see in the foreground and within no time it was riddled with gophers. Even using gopher sticks which have always been a great deterrent. Scott went ahead and ripped out the plastic and wha-la, the gophers retreated once more. We should have known, they do love to tunnel under our plastic, above ground pool.

The beans are growing sky high and we’re starting to be able to pick them. Hey, looks like a morning glory found it’s way to a trellis.

The raspberries, while first starting on ‘my’ half of this bed, have been migrating over to ‘Scott’s side’ of the garden. Hrmph! I’m trying not to take it personally. Apparently they like a nice well amended, double dug bed as much as any other plant does.

How are things going in your garden?


Filed under State of the Garden

12 responses to “the state of things around here

  1. Mom

    Under the heading of milkweed, things are not going very well. Yes, my milkweed got an early start but then it stopped. For weeks I’ve been watching it do nothing. Not grow – not die. This is a weed for goodness sake. And right next to it are the wonderful Queen Anns lace weeds that you gave me the seeds for a couple years ago. They are thriving with beautiful blooms all over the place. So out of desperation I’ve dug up some of the milkweed and moved it to another spot in the garden. We’ll see what happens. Some things are going well, but as a whole this is not a premium growing year for most of my plants. They are just doing their best to hang on to life. As your philosophical son, Charlie says, “Well, that’s the way life is.” Love, Mom

  2. Janet Salyers

    Things are slow in the garden here . I live just south of Port Wing Wi. and the weather has been quite cool. Nice to enjoy,but not so good for growing.

  3. We’ve had so much rain here in Toronto, that everything is growing like crazy. However, With the moisture come slugs. My Swiss chard seedlings keep disappearing. After seeding in the garden three times I’m thinking of trying some seeds in a container. Glad to hear that you’re enjoying your new windows!

  4. Looks beautiful there! We have had rain for 14 days straight so things are a bit water logged! The water bugs and slugs are taking over so I have to spray every day with my organic mixture of water laced with soap and neem oil. It didn’t rain for the past 2 days and it looks like I’m winning!

  5. Lanier Harris

    Please tell me why you are admiring your milkweed. We consider it a noxious weed. What have I missed? Does any animal eat it? I have horses, dogs, cats, ducks, geese, chickens, pigs & goats and they all seem to leave it alone. Love your web site. Thanks Lanier

    • asonomagarden

      Ha! Everyone’s weed is someone else’s treasure. I always wonder why they carry purslane seeds in catalogs when we spend so much of our time trying to get rid of it! We grow milkweed for the monarchs.

  6. What a beautiful gladiolus!
    I’m growing Milkweed for the monarchs too, in the hope that some errant butterfly will spot it and decide that the Willamette Valley is hospitable enough to lay it’s eggs.
    Your garden is lovely…thanks for sharing!

  7. As a Santa Cruz native, I can assure you that you aren’t there being a beach bum because rent is super expensive, its near impossible to buy, traffic is ridiculous, and there are no jobs besides hospitality unless you want to drive over the hill to San Jose 🙂
    and the food is much better in Sonoma County!

    • asonomagarden

      Yes Melissa, when I approached Scott about being a beach bum in Santa Cruz (he went to college there), he said, ‘well, I think we can only afford to really be beach bums.’ The traffic did look ridiculous. I guess Sonoma’s not a bad back up plan.

  8. After three years of drought in Upstate SC, we’ve had torrential rains for weeks, which is really wrecking havoc on the garden (and my nerves, as my in-laws are visiting for TWO weeks, and we’re trapped inside. Yikes.) I’m so happy to be out of the drought, but our poor farmers can’t catch a break–too much rain is just as bad as not enough, I’m afraid. Still, our garden is plugging along, lush and green and full of weeds. We have tons of green tomatoes–now, we just need a bit of sunshine to help them ripen. (And good for you on the milkweed for the monarchs! I also plant it, too, but I’ve noticed a dramatic decrease in pollinators in our garden this year, even with us being organic. It’s really worrisome.)

  9. Elizabeth

    One thing I learned this year is that gophers hate fish emulsion. All the plants I put it on survived, even with gopher mounds just feet away. Good for the plants, bad for the gophers? Win-win.

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