Wednesday, May 11, 2011

What kind of spring is it in the Pacific Northwest?

You be the judge.  Picture taken of our Dogwood on May 11th 2011:
From 2011 Landscape

Picture taken of our Dogwood on May 2nd 2010:

From The Making of a Craftsman Home

Conclusion: Our poor little Dogwood is really really trying to bloom.  It's been cold, rainy, and dreary.  The only difference between this year and last year is that February in 2010 was warm unlike this year.  The weathermen keep blaming in on the La Nina.  Pretty much everything in the Pacific Northwest is stuck in first gear.  If mother nature is reading this, would you *PLEASE* demote this La Nina person, cause we're sick of the way she's running the place!!!!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Progress on kitchen cabinetry

Recently installed upper cabinet doors.  Next step is to order glass and install.

Putting the finishing touches on the construction of the upper cabinet that goes over the refrigerator.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Happy Native Plant Appreciation Week

Did you know it was native plant appreciation week in Washington state?  I didn't either until I saw our local Native Plant nursery Woodbrook post it on their Facebook page.  To celebrate, I submitted this years plant order to them and went and picked up the plants today!  We've been working on our native plant landscape for the 3 to 4 years now.  We've done it in phases because one, it is hard work, and two, it costs money.  This year, we're completing our backyard plant landscape.   (Is anything ever really done?)

Over the course of the winter, I put together landscape drawings that take into consideration our light and moisture levels.  There is an awesome resource made available by King County that helped us immensely.  The Northwest Native Plant Guide is an online resource that catalogs native plants in a searchable index.  It also provides sample landscape design plans, which is super helpful.  Hopefully one day Pierce County will provide something as comprehensive.  I found the website particularly useful to print their designs and use them as reference for my own design.  Once I got our design complete, I put together a shopping list of plants with quantities.  This makes getting and identifying what you need a lot easier, or at least it did for us.  I was able to provide this list to Woodbrook, and they pulled all of the plants in advance and had the order ready for us.

We chose native plants for several reasons.  First, they have low to no water requirements, which is a major objective for our landscape.  They also build great habitat, and provide food and shelter for wildlife.  In addition, native plants are in line with the Arts and Crafts design principles - which is to use local materials and design elements whenever possible.

Not all of our landscape is native, nor is that really practical if you are trying to feed yourself.  There are many edibles found in Washington, such as Miners Lettuce, Salmon Berries, etc., but it is our desire to grow a much more diverse edible landscape.  Therefore, I have found mixing lower-maintenance natives with fruit trees and garden annuals and perennials to be particularly useful.

Next up is to start planting, and then sit back and watch it all grow!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Spring Planting

All winter we've been working on the next round of the garden planning.  This weekend we planted numerous edibles, including: 4 blueberry varieties, a crab apple tree, two grape varieties, a new fig tree, golden and Tettnang hops, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries.  This should finalize most of the perennial edibles we plan on planting in our garden.  To plant the hops, we built an arbor that matches the one we built earlier two years ago for the kiwis.  Here is a picture of the final project:

From 2011 Landscape

We're looking forward to seeing this covered with hops in the years to come!