Archive for the ‘Gardening’ Category

I just read an article about Bulb Lasagna.  It had a link to Molbak’s Garden and Home page, explaining how to do it!  Here’s another article concerning this idea.  It looks like a GRAND idea!  Could I pull it off?  I’d need to add another pot into my garden of pots (pictured above).  Screen Shot 2017-09-13 at 8.44.17 AMThis also might be a possibility for those of you who have “Juliet” balconies with flowers.  But, it may also give others of you some ideas on planting bulbs in general.  We’re getting close to that time.

I guess the idea is to have it in a sheltered area, avoiding the greatest threat of freezing.  Then the pot needs to be deep enough.  Ten (10) inches for two (2) layers and fourteen (14) inches for three (3) layers, etc.  It should be overplanted (on top) with a type of ground cover to keep it looking pretty when it’s not in bloom.

There are also suggestions that you plan on early, mid-season and late blooming bulbs in order to keep the show going longer!  This sounds like fun.

It also brings up the fact that we need to start thinking about planting bulbs in the garden.  Perhaps that will be my next blog entry.



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The other evening, sitting with other HH residents during Sunny Monday, and while enjoying the D Level Garden, someone commented on a pink cluster of blooms, up on the C level.  Are they lilies or an amaryllis?

From that distance, my guess was lilies, others thought amaryllis.  I thought the best way to find out was to go and take a closer look.  We could also ask the gardener IMG_6290who has it in her garden!  So, I did both!

The gardener is Jane, whose photo I took in the spring, sitting in her garden. Her comment was that it was something she “inherited” when she took over the garden, so she really wasn’t sure WHAT it was!

When I looked at it, it was obviously an amaryllis.  How did I know?  An amaryllis has a straight stalk with strap like leaves coming up directly from the bulb.  A lily has short leaves, growing out from the stalk all the way from the bulb to the flower.

I took some photos of the pink amaryllis from the vantage point we had the other evening,

as well as a few close-ups where you can see it has a straight, leafless stalk from bulb to flower. IMG_6841 It is pretty much done blooming, but it sure was pretty when it was in it’s prime!IMG_6833 (1)






I also took some photos of lily plants.  They are done blooming and the blooms have been removed, but you can see the difference in the leaves on the stems.

Here is a link that will give you a better explanation about the differences between the amaryllis and lily.

Last week my post was about “dead-heading”.  The gardeners took my lead, and were busy trimming back those dead flower heads.  Someone suggested I post some pictures taken THIS week…when everything looks great.  So, here they are!




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Is the garden looking a little tacky?  It’s probably time to be “deadheading”.IMG_6831

At some point, every flower will stop flowering and begin to “set seed”.  The plant’s entire goal in life is to regenerate itself. IMG_6825 When the flower dies all it’s energy goes into making seed.IMG_6820  Unless you WANT seed from that particular plant, it is best to remove the “dead head” of the flower.  If you do this, the plant will try, yet again, to make more seeds, which translates into MORE FLOWERS!  So, deadheading not only makes the plant look neater, it actually stimulates it to make more flowers.

I went down into the three gardening terraces this morning to take pictures of examples.  So, you may see some pictures you’d rather not brag about.  IMG_6823It’s rather like taking pictures of your apartment the day before the cleaning lady comes! (Sorry)  But, they are just examples of when you need to start snipping, picking, plucking and cutting.IMG_6821

Deadheading is when you remove the dead blossoms and plant material from your garden.  I’ll talk a bit about it here, but in the meantime, here’s a link with a YouTube video explaining, and showing how to do it.  Deadheading video

When you “dead-head”, you can remove just the dead blossom, or you can follow the stem holding the dead flower down to the next healthy leaf.  You don’t want to have stumps of ANYTHING in the garden.  When you are done, it should look neat.

If you want, you can just let the seeds fall onto the ground around the mother plant, and hope for more of the same coming up in the spring.  Or you can put the debris into the compost pile.  Just remember, if that compost doesn’t get HOT, those seeds will sprout!

Do watch the little video, it will show you exactly what to do, with a demonstration!  In the meantime, I’ll be looking for nice, neat gardens!  🌺🌻🌱


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I would guess there were about 25-30 people who went on the Tree Walk last evening.  We stopped along the path to talk about 16 specific trees, but mentioned many others as well as having our questions answered by Alex and Doug from the First Hill Improvement Association.  We saw different varieties of Oak trees (Red, Scarlet, English, Pin) as well as Littleleaf Lindens, Elms, Katsura, Japanese Hornbeam, London Plane, California and Deodar Cedar.Screen Shot 2017-08-18 at 11.11.36 AM

We learned about the benefits of having trees along our sidewalks.  Check out this web-site to get a better idea of how trees work for us in our cities.

In Seattle, our Department of Transportation Forestry division is tasked with caring for the Urban Forestry, along with the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, AND the residents who bear responsibility for trees in their location.

First Hill has a tree canopy coverage of 36% which is the second highest in the city.  This is encouraged further by Seattle Dept. of Public Utilities through a program known as “Seattle reLeaf”.  This group provides free trees for planting in the public right-of-way, allowing folks to own and care for their own canopy!

Anyway, trees are a big part of our lives, offering all kinds of benefits.  Treat them gently!

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This morning I thought, wouldn’t it be fun to do some Geocaching for plants in our gardens? IMG_6752 I tried that in New Hampshire before we came here.  Actually, it was pretty unsuccessful.  I searched for a full day on a covered bridge looking for one of those danged caches!  I never did find it!  So, it would have to be pretty simple.  BUT, Geocaching also requires that you have a GPS.  That might be a bit tricky here as a lot of folks have some difficulties using their cell phones…a GPS would present some (even) more rather unique issues!!!

So I tried “googling” Geocaching horticultural stuff.  Hmmm…  Not so successful (kind of like looking for a geocache on a covered bridge!)IMG_6779  BUT, one of the Q&A sites suggested using a Scavenger Hunt idea instead (in reaction to a query from a parent looking for a geocaching “thing” for a birthday party).  Well, THAT sounds like a practical solution for us!  Maybe I could set up a Scavenger hunt, for plants or sculptures (Kappa?)in our gardens.

That would be a way for us to begin to learn about plants and trees, and even sculptures.  I’m going to put my “thinking cap” on and see what kind of ideas I come up with.  Maybe some of you might make comments below about either how to do it, or items we might list.  We could even think of some kind of “reward” for finding the proper “target”!

What do you think???

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Last night at Sunny Monday (our big Happy Hour on the D Level Garden on Sunny Monday evenings) there was much ado about our Kappa!IMG_6767

Is he beautiful?  Definitely NOT!  Is he hard to find?  ABSOLUTELY!  Do we all love him?  Ummm…not so much!

In a discussion with Bill S. I learned a bit more (aside from the fact that Bill agrees he’s pretty ugly).  Our Kappa should not be “reclining”!  Bill tried to straighten him up unsuccessfully.  I went down this morning with the intention of standing him up and remarkably, succeeded.

Then, it’s about his “hat”.  It looks very much like a turtle shell.  Yesterday I had looked up “Kappa” in Wikipedia and other sources, and it never mentions a “hat”.  But, it does say that he should have a bowl on top of his head.

So, last night Bill and I lifted that hat, and LO AND BEHOLD, there was a “bowl” on his head.  This morning I removed the turtle shell and thought I’d put it on top of the little turtle in my garden…but it’s much too big.  I hope someone out there might know where this shell belongs, because it is misplaced on the Kappa!IMG_6779

Here is one of the sites that did a good job of explaining the old Japanese folk-story, or legend. 

I hope you’ll go to the site and find out a bit more about our Kappa.  If we’re going to keep him in the garden, we should at least know a bit about him!

Oh, by the way, Bill S. says there’s another one somewhere in the gardens…even larger.  So if you see me peeking around in the bushes, you’ll know what I’m looking for!


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Oh, my!  We have a KAPPA on the Level D Garden Terrace!IMG_6762

There are a number of gardeners (and others) who have been totally flummoxed by this rather macabre looking statue buried in the shrubbery by the garage on the D Level Garden Terrace.  Who is he and where did he come from?  It appeared to be a great mystery.

When we were gearing up for the “June in Our Gardens” event, I had approached the Art Committee for some light to be shed on the matter.  They had nary a clue where it came from, if it belonged to anyone, or in fact if there was ANY history behind him (it?).  So, we ignored the whole subject.

Then during our Horizon House picnic, I happened (with TOTAL coincidence) to be seated at the table RIGHT next to this Kappa.  Since he was hard to ignore, quite the conversation evolved concerning his existence.  He was deemed “frightful”; “scary”; “nasty” and just a puzzle for this environment.

Since we had no “history” on this guy, it was decided to “do away with him”. IMG_6761 And then, out of the woodwork, an article appeared this week in our Alert (calendar) giving a whole history and explanation about our Kappa!  Fortunately, the dastardly deed had not yet been accomplished, and he still resides in the shrubbery.  (Thanks Stu!)

Now let me tell you, it appears this fellow casts spells!  He likes cucumbers!  He drowns people!  We have no cucumbers in our gardens, and we have no water allowing for drownings, however…over the last few weeks two of our gardeners have been incapacitated with broken bones!!!!  Oh, oh!  We need some council on this matter.  WHAT TO DO?  What do YOU think?


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