February 5, 2015


The weather has warmed dramatically here in the interior Northwest. We’ve been about 40 degrees most days, with mild winds and gentle rains. It seems like the perfect time to get out and start planting. I know it isn’t. The ground is still frozen, and every time I watch the news, the winter storms afflicting much of the Northeast remind me to wait.

At the same time, I’ve been reading about Tao, the Asian philosophy/religion that most American known only from scattered references. The famous “yin and yang” symbol comes from Tao. My reading is for a writing project, but I’ve found it resonates with my garden plans as well. Tao speaks to the importance of “doing” and “not-doing.” As far as my hasty American mind can tell, “not-doing” means letting go of activities and events that aren’t for you to control. Letting nature do most of the work has long been my gardening philosophy, and I find this fits well with Tao.

For the most part I’m content “not-doing” anything in my garden. I have scattered a few wildflower seeds in vacant lots, with the understanding that nature will “do” or “not-do” as it sees fit. And I keep waiting for the time when I can “do” again.


Spokane Country Libraries hosts a series of programs and demonstrations for home gardeners. This is their schedule for February.

Feb. 6, 4 pm, East Side Branch, Birds in Your Backyard featuring the Spokane Audubon Society.

Feb. 10, 6:30 pm, East Side Branch, Get in the Garden: Pruning 101 with master gardener Steve Nokes

Feb. 12, 1:30 pm, Indian Trail Branch, Bring Nature Home: Your Backyard Wildlife Sanctuary with master gardener Eva Lusk.

Feb. 12, 4 pm, Hillyard Branch, Birds in Your Backyard

Feb. 18, 4 pm, Indian Trail Branch, Birds in Your Backyard

Feb. 21, 10 am, Hillyard Branch, Get in the Garden: Growing Tomatoes from Seed to Harvest

Feb. 24, 6 pm, Shadle Branch, Propagation from Seeds and Cuttings with master gardener Steve Nokes

Feb. 28, 1 pm, Hillyard Branch, Intro to Vegetable Gardening featuring master gardener Claudia Myers

I want to go to all of these!!


Growing steadily, just as you’d hope.

Indoor Forest

The cat grass my son started reached enough height to introduce it to my cats. After some hesitation (“I can’t eat that, you’ll yell at me!”) it was received with enthusiasm. I think I’ll toss in a few seeds to keep the patch thick, but it’s nice to know when a crop reached the intended audience.


I got my materials together and created a bee house to put on the south side of my house. If you want to see pictures, they’re on my Pinterest board. Next step is to take down the other, smaller bee house and hang the new one. Once I’m sure it’s all stable there, I’ll get together an emergence chamber for the tubes from the existing bee house. I can put the paper tubes in the emergence chamber and re-paper the old tubes, so when the bees mature they’ll have nice new houses all ready to go.

Until next week, let us all do by not-doing.


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