Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2010 garden planning

I've got one thing on my mind in the dead of winter, and that's the upcoming growing season! After two years of garden planning, hauling dirt, removing concrete, etc., I can start to get serious about planting the remaining trees and getting the production garden ready. I've spent the past two months flipping through my Raintree Nursery catalog, and have chosen a few select edible and ornamental varieties to plant next year.

  • Olympia Blueberry: Small antioxidant packed blueberries.
  • Bluecrop Blueberry: A larger blueberry. More productive, but less antioxidants.
  • Ananasnaja Kiwi: Nothing beats fresh kiwi fruit picked directly from the vine. I ordered three plants in total, one male, and two females.
  • Asian Pear: This particular dwarf pear tree contains four Asian pear varieties.
  • Fig (Madeleine Des Duex Saisons): Figs do exceedingly well in the Pacific Northwest, and are an extremely attractive and productive fruit tree.
  • Hops: Both golden and tettnang hops for interest, and for beer making in the future.
  • Russian Tea: A small bush, reaching 2-3 feet in height. The leaves are picked and used to make a black tea. This one is entirely for fun!
  • Kwanzan Flowering Cherry: This will work perfectly in my Japanese inspired Pacific Northwest landscape design. The flowering cherry will add color and interest during the early spring months of the year.
  • Paper Bark Maple: I went back and forth on this decision, but I've decided to plant a Paperbark maple alongside the pond and waterfall as a focal point. This maple is very slow growing and remains small to medium size with pruning.
  • Red and Black Currant: Why not. I know nothing about Currants, but they were thrown into my order for free.
My original thinking was to plant all of the fruit trees in the area where we tore out our driveway, but I have since changed the plan. Instead of planting all the fruit trees in one area, I have now decided to scatter them around more throughout the landscape. By doing this, I've reserved more room on the south side of the house for sun loving production berries and vegetables.

A friend of mine introduced me to a permaculture themed website recently that's had a huge affect on my garden plan. I strongly recommend a visit to if you're planning an edible food production garden.

Next up on the list is to determine what vegetable varieties to grow next year and to place a seed order. For Northwest gardeners, I strongly recommend Territorial Seed Company, which selects varieties compatible with our cool climate. I've been ordering from Territorial for 4+ years now, and have had an excellent experience. I'll be keeping my order small this year, since we've got a large number of house projects planned for 2010, so we'll have our hands plenty full.

Are you planning your gardening for the upcoming year? Post a comments, and share your spring time dreams.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Hello, my name is Rosetta

Hi All,

My name is Rosetta, but I go by Rosa. I recently moved into my new home here in Tacoma Washington, and aside from all the loud remodeling, I think I'm liking it. They've got this other cat, and I'm not sure how I feel about him just yet. He really wants me to like him, but I'm trying hard to ignore him.

About me -- well, I'm approximately 4 years old and have been living in Sammamish. A couple months ago my keeper moved out and left me with the apartment, which I was liking just fine until I got an eviction notice. Once the landlord found out I was still living on the property, he took pity and moved me into his home. I lived with him for awhile, but he wasn't home to pet me very much, which really just wasn't working out for me. Anyhow, I decided to ditch him and move to Tacoma, which is the City of Destiny after all.

From The Making of a Craftsman Home

Right now I'm just settling into my new digs. I'm kinda shy and like to hide under the furniture (and my god, they've got great furniture), but I'm coming out more and more to be petted and enjoy the scenery.

Well, that's all for now, I think I need a snack and a nap.


Kitchen ceiling drywall

So, what's up you ask? A new kitchen ceiling! Over the weekend, we drywalled the kitchen ceiling. The existing plaster ceiling was in bad shape from years of remodeling efforts. Now that the ceiling is complete, the upper cabinets can be installed, followed by window and door trim, etc. It's very nice to be one step closer to completing the kitchen.

Here are some photos:

From The Making of a Craftsman Home

Using a drywall lift makes this job a whole lot easier.

From The Making of a Craftsman Home