Cherry Tomatoes ‘Tis the season to be picky, picking veggies that is. One of the real treats of living here at Old Goat Farm is having the space for a large vegetable garden. Our veggie garden is about 60 ft by 60 ft. That is enough space to generate a lot of food. Before Because we have all the birds we need to protect the crops from them. The chicken coop and bird-run goes completely across the back of the garden. On both sides there are fences with espalier apples, pears a
textural and color contrast When we moved to Old Goat Farm we brought with us about 60 different types of Hostas. Reliable and hardy with countless combinations of leaf color, shape, and texture, hostas appeal to gardeners because of their fabulous foliage. We use them throughout the garden as a great texture plant. Hosta ‘Sum and Substance’ Hosta ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ on the fern table. Hostas are herbaceous, mounding perennials, hardy to Zones 3 or 4, depending on the variety.
Hydrangea serrata ‘Preziosa’ Hydrangeas are the queens of the summer garden. Most deciduous shrubs and trees flower in spring giving more time to set seed throughout the summer. Since many hydrangeas flower at this time of year they definitely take the spotlight, not that they wouldn’t anytime with all those big blooms. Hydrangeas are native to the northern hemisphere, mainly Asia. There are a few North American species but the ones that are most popular originated in China,
Rosa blanda There is nothing quite like the smell of roses in the garden in June. For me roses have always been a bit of a challenge. I usually picked the big blooms out of garden catalogs and then found them to be less than satisfying. I would try to deal with black spot and to figure out the right time to prune and which ones did what. I found them a bit confusing. Being the lazy gardener I just moved on and forgot about them. Come June when I would get a whiff of one along
Freshly Planted Growing up in North Dakota I thought gardening was just about vegetables. The growing season was about three or four months which is just about the time for a good veggie garden. Everyone had a garden when I was a kid. It was just part of summer. I still think of it it that way. The other nine months I like spending time with all the ornamentals but come summer there is nothing I like more than spending time in the vegetable garden. Overhead view When we moved
Hydrangea anomala ssp. petiolaris Oh grow up! That’s what I tell people who say they have no more room in their gardens. What I mean is vertical. To add another dimension to the garden I like to plant tall plants that stay narrow and get good height. Dahlia imperialis Besides giving you a little more room it also adds more interest not to have all the plants about the same height. An example is, in one bed I have a Rhamnus ‘Fine Line’, a Berberis ‘Helmond Pillar’ and Dahlia i
Saxifraga ‘Maroon Beauty’ and Kerria japonica ‘Variegata’ Here at Old Goat Farm that would be way to constrained for even just a part of the garden. Here color seems to run amuck. We do use white though, particularly in the shadier parts of the garden. I noticed recently how these principles seem to work. On a warm evening, while sitting in the garden at dusk, I noticed the greens starting to meld together, the dark colors fading and the white coming alive. Variegated Hosta T
Table One of the joys of living here at Old Goat Farm is dining in the garden. To be surrounded by the beauty of the garden and enjoying good food just can’t be beat. The sounds of all the different birds out in the pasture is something you can only experience on a farm. We have had a number of customers, that come to our Christmas event, request that we do something in the summer. Not everyone is a gardener but most everyone enjoys the garden. We host a number of garden club
The Fair It’s that time of year when Agriculture, Horticulture and clowns meet. Well I can think of a few gardeners that make that happen more often but I’m talking about the State Fair. Old Goat Farm is just a few miles from the Washington State Fair so we usually make a pilgrimage there each year. Crested Polish The first stop for us is usually the barn housing the birds. It’s fun to see all the different breeds looking their best. This year Gary only saw two or three that
Seattle waterfront I’ve had the opportunity over the last several years to escort a number of horticultural tours, both domestic and international. I just completed a tour in my own back yard. I put together a tour for the Pacific Horticulture Society of the Seattle area gardens. Having worked as the head gardener for the Miler Garden in Seattle I had contacts to some of the finest gardens in the Northwest. I have visited all these gardens in the past but never with a large g
Relax Dog Days is the name for the most sultry period of summer, from about July 3 to Aug. 11. Named in early times by observers in countries bordering the Mediterranean, the period was reckoned as extending from 20 days before to 20 days after the conjunction of Sirius (the dog star) and the sun. We are a little past the official dog days but here in the Northwest the weather matches the description. In short this is a way to say we are taking the week off. Nothing is on the
WOW When James Longmire’s daughter-in-law, Martha, first saw this site, she exclaimed,”Oh, what a paradise!” This quote pretty much sums up most people’s reaction to this spot on Mt. Rainier. A trip to Paradise was my second trip up the mountain a couple weeks ago. It was planned as part of a family reunion outing. This part of the mountain is very accessible for people of most skill levels. The paths are mostly paved and not too steep or long yet the vistas are incredible.