May 22, 2014

I’m really excited to read an article in the Spokesman-Review that three branches of the city library will have garden seeds to borrow. I’ve heard of Seed Libraries elsewhere in the country, but this is the first year Spokane has them. They’ve repurposed an old card catalog to hold vegetable seeds. Isn’t that a cool idea?

Of course, when you borrow something, you’re expected to return it. In the case of a Seed Library, they ask that you save seed at the end of the season and pay them back that way. I’m not sure about how to do that, but they’ll also have seed-saving workshops to teach people how. Or they’ll take donations of other seed instead. Since I already have seed from my Jersey Knight asparagus, that will probably be how I go.

PS — It just happens that I need a couple of cucumber seeds and was mulling whether to go buy a whole packet. Looks like a can head to the public library, instead!

I had a great aftermath experience from Garden Expo. The tool company I meant to go back to but forgot was called Lowell’s tools. I found them online and requested shipping rates for the tool I needed. But the shipping was going to be as much as the tool, so they e-mailed me the name and address of a local company that carries the tool. I was amazed that they took the time to do that. And, this Saturday, I can go get that leaf rake I’ve been longing for.

It’s snowing… elm seeds. You see, there’s an 80-foot elm tree across the alley from my house. Every year at this time, I have of white papery discs snowing down on me. For the rest of the season I’ll be plucking elm seedlings from my rose and planting beds. The things we get from nature aren’t always what we want, I guess.

I’m thrilled to announce that I have my first sighting of a tomato! My Sweet and Neat cherry tomato has set fruit. Pumpkins and squash seeds are starting to come up. In the front yard, my pink poppies are in bloom, and I have many green buttons forming on my cherry tree.

In addition, I have put in my second wave of Bantam sweet corn, plus a few Blue Lake beans and Sugar Snap peas to fill in gaps where seed didn’t germinate. Nothing has come up yet in my broccoli or cabbage, and only one cauliflower has appeared, so I gave it a second try there.

My salad greens are thriving in the warm spring weather, and the asparagus continues to put up spears. Did you know, asparagus is really quite tasty if you just eat it raw?

I’m exited that I found nests of another native bee. Years ago, I bought one of those bamboo bee nests that looks really cute in the catalog but doesn’t do much. It was in my way, so I hung it on a peg near my potting bench and forgot about it.

Then one day I heard a familiar droning and saw a large bee hovering near the nest. I thought it might even be a hornet, but when I checked the nest I noted several of the bamboo canes had been plugged with mud. Seems I have a tenant!

Do I know what kind of bee she is? I do not. My garden is full of mystery. Some research suggests that she might be a cuckoo bee, but I can’t be positive. That would not be good news for whoever actually nested in the tubes, I’m suppose.

On a more disappointing note, I discovered that the suet on my feeder has mostly been enjoyed by starlings — a non-native bird that I don’t wish to encourage. So the current block of suet will be my last.

Until next week, keep digging!


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