Friday, May 13, 2011

Baby birdies

I have been very busy with my new babies...

Robin babies! Mama really wanted to built a nest on a cross beam in our covered carport.  She attempted three other nests before she settled on this one. I had been avidly watching her for egg hatching activity, and last weekend I finally saw her sitting on the nest really funny with her butt in the air. A day later I could see the tips of little beaks. Slowly I could see more and more of the baby chicks' heads.  Now they are big enough that you can see all four heads at any time, as long as Mama hasn't scared you away by dive bombing when you come out of the house.  And, like most babies, all they do now is eat and poop.

In other outdoor news, my herb farm is toodling along quite nicely. My rosemary starts are doing their thing slowly and steadily. My couple of parsley starts have defied all odds and taken hold after living wrapped in slightly damp paper towel for over a week before planting. And I have a handful of thyme seeds that have finally decided to poke their heads up.

I didn't know if my thyme seeds outside would grow, so I planted some in peat pellets downstairs in the "sunroom." Soon I'll cut off the smaller guys and just let the biggest one take over the pellet for a while before planting.

Also in the sunroom, one of my orchids is going hog wild! "Trick or Treat" orchid. I think it's beautiful. I hope the blossoms survive a little moving around in the coming weeks.

Outside, my garden is finally doing something. It has felt like February out there, not May, and my plants have been acting accordingly. Peas that I planted in the raised bed, actually IN February, are now getting little over and inch tall. The peas I planted in early April are decently big.

Unfortunately, when you have a bunch of planters that all look the same, sometimes you forget which one you've planted in and double seed....Oops. Do you think mesclun mix lettuce will do okay sharing space with peas??

I got a little over excited when there was a sale on greens at Fred Meyer a couple weeks ago and bought a few too many... But I managed to find a place for them regardless.

And I'm being quite "green" about it!

Our 3 year old strawberries are starting to bloom, and will hopefully produce sometime in June.

But the blueberries may take a while. We got three bare root blueberries last month for 50% off. Luckily, I had three large planters already available so we could pot them instead of putting them in the ground. They should be fine for a couple of years in these guys before I am able to find them a more permanent home.  One variety is supposed to produce berries up to silver dollar diameter! Yum.

We had a rare bit of sunshine yesterday, so I took the opportunity to dig up some calla lilies that were hiding in an odd corner of the yard. I was digging with a spade instead of a shovel and think I may have damaged some of the roots during the transplant, but hopefully they'll enjoy their new living conditions.

That's it for outside. I've got kale and lettuce starts in the raised bed, as well as the tiny peas and some radishes, but they aren't far enough along to warrant a photoshoot. Inside I've decided to prep for summer by planting some flower seeds. I had plastic 6-packs left from the kale starts, so I'm going to hope my daisy, bachelor button, and zinnias get an excellent start in the sunroom.  Eventually I hope to be able to plant them around the edge of the yard to bring in some bright color. Fingers crossed that seeds from 2006 are still viable....

And, I'm getting a bit adventurous. A dear friend sent me a link to the "greenest" way to start plants - in a toilet paper tube! I got some free tomato (and basil, for that matter) seeds from Sunset magazine trying to sell me a subscription. I have no clue what kind of tomato seeds they are - roma, grape, etc - but I'm hoping I get to find out. I've never done tomatoes from seed, and I've heard they're very difficult, so it may just be a fun, if failed, experiment.

I couldn't get them to stand up on their own, so I had to put them in cups. Not sure if it will be good or bad for them. Maybe I'll move a couple to between the flower starts if things look disasterous.


Proof of nurture vs nature: Ollie the Gardening Cat.

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