Posted on Jul 19th, 2009 by Allison (In the Garden)

It’s been too hot here the past week or so… hovering in the low 80s. I know, I know, I’m a weather wuss. But that’s (one of the reasons) why I moved here!

What I think it looks like in AZMy iPhone has a handy, dandy feature where it shows me the current temp in whatever cities I have selected to check. It frequently reminds me how glad I am I live here, rather than in the parched desert. Here is where things stand at 12:56pm on Sunday, July 19th.

  • Mill Creek, WA: A perfect 64°
  • Salt Lake City, UT: 94°
  • Kennewick, WA: 83°
  • Princeville, HI: 80°
  • Phoenix, AZ: 110°

The high today will be around 74°. And if that weren’t enough to make me love living in Washington, take a gander at what’s been happening in my garden the last while. Those tall pink and white foxglove just sprouted from seeds that blew over from the field behind my condo. Cool, huh?

In my garden

How are you enjoying the weather??

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Posted on Jun 7th, 2009 by Allison (In the Garden, Whatever)

It feels like it’s been a long time since I posted and, for some reason, the thought of doing to has been a bit overwhelming.  To break myself back in, here are some random thoughts that have occupied my mind since I last posted.

Delphinium BouquetWas thrilled with the $5 delphinium bouquet I picked up at the local farmers market Friday.

Yes, $5.00

I think I’ll drop by every Friday and pick up a fresh bouquet of flowers.

I get grumpy when I’m too warm.  Anything over 80 degrees is too warm.

I’m glad I have access to a pool when it gets over 80 degrees.  I love swimming – or at least exercising in swimming pools.  And preferably the water won’t be ice cold next time!

Unlike most people in Seattle, I was happy when the heat wave passed and cooler days returned.  I spent much of yesterday planting in my garden (a garden post coming soon).

Hummingbird foodHummingbirds make me happy. Don’t have a pic of them, but here’s where they comes to dine every day.  Last night one came by while I was sitting on the patio, and he hovered down at eye level and looked straight at me for several seconds.   I love him.

On the other hand, snails, slugs, spiders and  mosquitoes – still not a fan.

Also not a fan of the California Supreme Court’s decision to uphold mean-spirited Prop 8.    Also still not a fan of Sarah Palin and Dick Cheney.

Still happy that Obama won the election and am pleased with how he is engaging internationally.

hphbp.jpgI’m eagerly awaiting the release of Harry Potter & The Half Blood Prince movie!

I think I’ll go see the new Star Trek film this afternoon. Have you seen it?

While I’m gone, please share a few of your random thoughts.

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Posted on May 10th, 2009 by Allison (In the Garden)

Blue HoneywortI had plans Saturday.  Things to do, places to be, people to see. 

 However, before I started into that, I decided to spend a moment trying to create a floral graphic for the “Growing Gifts” application in Facebook.  Big mistake.

I should state here that I don’t really like Facebook – I don’t take the funky tests, I don’tClematis join in all the hearts and hugs and hidden egg applications.   I mostly just check in now and then, because it has enabled me to reconnect with a few friends from the past.  

But there is one Facebook application I really like – Growing Gifts.  Basically, you choose from a selection of graphic flowers (using seeds you earn by tending to others gardens) and send them to your friends.   I like this app…   because I love gardens and flowers.

Day Lily

They have some lovely flowers to choose from – but also some very boring ones.   I decided to try my hand at designing an interesing offering to submit to Growing Gifts, and created the blue honeywort plant (aka blue shrimp plant) in the purple pot.   And after finishing that one, had an idea for another… and then another… and another…..  and I never made it out of my house.  Oriental Poppy

(Acutally I did – but just to the garden where I planted a few real flowers).

So I completely wasted my day obsessing and making garden graphics. But I was pleasantly surprised at how they turned out, and submitted them for review/acceptance.  They’ve been getting a good response from the design team and I think they’ll be accepted.  CosmosBut I have no idea how long it will be before they show up in the application, could be months…. 

So I’m sharing them with you now.   Enjoy your flowers from me.

Do you have a favorite?

Oh… and Happy Mothers Day!

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Posted on May 8th, 2009 by Allison (In the Garden)

I saw something today that was kind of cool, but also kind of creeped me out.   It was this cluster of yellow dots on my siding.  When I got closer, I saw the dots were moving….  and when I got even closer, realized they were baby spiders.   You can click the pic for a closer view….

I did some online searching and discovered this:

Baby garden spidersIn late summer or early autumn many spiders mature mate and produce eggs. The common Garden Spider lays from three to eight hundred yellow eggs that she cements together and covers in a dense layer of coarse protective yellow silk and detritus. When spring comes the following year, bundles of tiny yellow spiderlings with a black spot on their rear end can be found.

If disturbed, the bundle of babies will ‘explode’, with individual spiderlings dispersing away from each other on tiny silken safety lines. Once the danger has passed they climb back up the web and form a clump again. Before emerging from their egg sac, the spiderlings moulted once. Once emerged, they remain together until they have moulted yet again and grown big enough to be independent.

I know they are only garden spiders – but I have more spiders than I need in the garden.  I disposed of the little critters.

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Posted on May 7th, 2009 by Allison (In the Garden)

I love spring rain. Or summer rain.

Basically, I just love rain.

I love the way it sounds, the way it smells and the way it makes the colors in my flowers come alive.

Rainy Garden

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Posted on Apr 28th, 2009 by Allison (In the Garden, Whatever)

I have a testimony of massage.I’m on Day 4 of this happiness theme…. 

Today, I’m really, really happy that I get to go have a 90 minute massage in a few hours.  I need it badly and am really looking forward to it.

Forget-me-notThere’s also a lot of happiness eminating from my little garden.  Bright red azalea in bloom, aubretia tumbling down the rock wall, splashes of blue forget-me-nots, all my perennials growing nicely….  and the Sluggo I used seems to have negated the slug problem… at least temporarily.

Happiness abounds.

What’s making YOU happy today?

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Posted on Mar 16th, 2009 by Allison (In the Garden, Photography, Travel)

Pink HibiscusKauai is known as the Garden Isle – for good reason.

Here are some of the beautiful (and sometimes strange) flora we have encountered…

A flaming hisbiscusHibiscus is everywhere. Peach colored, double hibiscus

I love Bouganvilla… particularly this salmony/pink color. But the deep fuschsia is awe inpiring as well.

Bouganvilla creates fantastic bursts of color along the roadside, climbing walls, pruned into trees, arching over walkways.


PlumeriaPlumeria is just coming into season. We continue our quest to find pink plumeria blooming on a low enough branch to photograph…

Pink Plumeria

I LOVED this funky looking blossom below… we found a tree covered in them. I believe it is called Ohi’a Lehua.

It looks like it belongs in a Dr. Seuss book, doesn’t it?

ohia lehua blossom, aka funky dr. seuss plantAlong with a bottle brush tree.

(weird, huh?) Another dr. seuss plant

This tree looked like it was covered with big yellow rananuculus.

rananuculus tree

Pink gingerThere are many red ginger plants around, but I prefer the pink.

An orchid growing in a plumeria tree.

Orchid in a tree

Interesting blue flowerI love blue flowers…

Blue lotus

Little pink flowers

OK, enough for tonight. Tomorrow is our last day in paradise….

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Posted on Mar 7th, 2009 by Allison (In the Garden, Travel)

Aloha is a wonderfully all-purpose word.  Can mean hello, goodbye or I love you.   

Snowy flowersToday it means I’m getting the heck out of the snow and on my way to paradise.  Here’s what my cute little flowers looked like today just before I left.  Could we have picked a better day than today depart???

 As you can see below, we’re having fun already.   Just walking out the door of our lovely hotel suite to pick Ashley up from SeaTac airport!

 We take off for Kauai in in the morning…

Kristin & J’Neil


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Posted on Feb 23rd, 2009 by Allison (In the Garden)

DaffodilsA few weeks ago I stopped at Molbaks and picked up some primrose and daffodils to grace my patio as I am waiting for the bulbs and flowers from last year to bloom again. That sweet baby daffodil just keeps blooming.

And after discovering my first little crocus bud munched into oblivion before it could bloom, I’ve regularly followed shiny little slime trails to pots and rocks, searching for and dispoing of the evil slugs that lurk beneath… just waiting to feast on my garden.  

Baby Iris
And then today….

I opened my blinds today and looked out into my garden and saw this!

The cute little iris that I’d planted early last spring (just before it bloomed) had survived the winter and has burst forth into glorious color on my patio.   

Daffodils and tulips from last year are several inches out of the ground and developing buds.  YEAH! 

Crocus and primroseAnd…  

My slug hunting has paid off, because the crocus and and primrose are also in bloom.

I love flowers.   Anything new in your garden?

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Posted on Jan 15th, 2009 by Allison (In the Garden)

My bouquetOne of my favorite things about living in the northwest is the abundant supply of affordable, fresh flowers.  Even in the middle of winter…..  

I live a little over 1 hour south of Mt. Vernon, home to the annual Tulip Festival.   Jealous?   

In March, you can drive around Mt. Vernon and see acres and acres of daffodils. Tulips in April. Iris in May.

I love the northwest.

I love tulips

While at Central Market (great place for natural foods) Tuesday, I noticed a sign announcing the arrival of the Mt. Vernon hothouse tulips, just the day before!  

And there they were…. rows of fresh cut tulips in a rainbow of colors….  for only $4 per 5 stem bunch.   Prices get even lower when they start cutting in the fields.

Obviously, I had to have three bunches. And aren’t they lovely?  Makes spring feel not so far away….

Southwest has airfare on special from Phoenix to Seattle in April………….

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