Bee resources on-line

Thanks to the blog Linda' Bees I have discovered a treasure-trove of sources and information on scientific research on bees, including CCD and efforts to preserve bee's health at eXtension.org. Also, there are educational articles about honey, beekeeping, etc.


October in Our Garden

We spent quite a few hours this weekend in our backyard, converting dull lawn to future Eden. On Friday, we attempted to sheet mulch one of our new jigsaw beds, a process of composting right in the garden bed that apparently works better if given enough time. Therefore, fall is a great time to sheet mulch. We dug the dirt from the bed, laid down a layer of green mulch (fresh grass clippings and comfrey), cardboard and newspaper, more green, and then we refilled with dirt (although the directions that we read instructed us to just put mulch) and put a few inches of maple tree mulch. We'll let that winter over and decompose into lovely rich soil, hopefully!
I also planted garlic bulbs: organic Germain porcelain garlic along eastern border of strawberry patch, organic silver rose garlic toward center of strawberry patch, and organic early Italian garlic near the rose bush.
I planted green onions and borage in with the strawberries as well. Next to the rose bush I created a bed of garlic, strawberries (I need to get better with names), mint, and catnip. Most of what I'm doing, despite all of the reading that I've been doing lately, is experimental. Will the garlic and onions grow? Will the borage reseed and if so, did my planting it in the ground have an effect? These are questions to be answered next spring.

I also dug up my neighbor's over-crowded daffodil bulbs (Or so she says they are. They were very crowded under her fig tree and extremely small. Even the larger ones--the size of Elijah's foot--were small) and planted them around the tree stump in my front yard, near the rose bush, and around the mistletoe tree (not sure what kind of tree it is as of yet, but so we're calling it for now). I know for a fact that I planted some iris bulbs that have been cooped up in an over-crowded container for I don't know how long. I also planted some bulbs that I believe to be grape hycinth, although again, a guess. But who knows what will appear next spring: hosts of daffodils and grape hycinths? Nothing at all? Some surprise tulips--a girl can dream.

I also created another bed where I put the lavender, sage, and heebies that my neighbor gave me. I plan to also throw down some crop cover seeds there and anywhere else I decide that I don't have the materials to sheet mulch.

Finally, in the front bed, I threw down lupine, phlox, and poppy seeds as well as planted two pink daylillies. Hooray!

I believe my fall planting may be over (with the exception of crop cover seeds); now the joyful anticipation of what will happen in the spring.


geodesic dome greenhouse

Last year's snow storm led to the collapse of many hoop houses in the north west. Therefore, how do we who want a back-yard greenhouse prevent this problem? Consider building a geodesic dome greenhouse.

Article idea: how to build an affordable, portable, and EXTREMELY durable geodesic dome greenhouse.


Backyard Transformance

We have a lot to accomplish in our future garden paradise, as seen in the photo on the left. My boyfriend recently trimmed the apple tree so that our garden would have more light. Now, what to do with the branches? Build a wooden garden fence? Have a few fires in the fire place?

To the right is a photo of our new raised beds that B. built after I told him where the best lighting in our yard is for veggies. We're now in the process of composting with homemade compost, chicken manure, and dead leaves to get ready for spring planting.


First article for Examiner.com

My first article for as a Portland Gardening Examiner has been published: it's about planning and planting a bee-friendly garden. Check it out here. And please subscribe to my homepage and to read future articles on topics listed in my earlier post.