Saturday, July 30, 2011

Out my kitchen window.....

I'm one of those people that likes a theme... for a party... for a room.. or even for my flower beds.  Some of my beds are purples and whites, some happy yellow complete with sunflowers, some are even plain white. 

The one out my kitchen window, is pink.  At this time of year it is really at it's best.  It almost makes dishes enjoyable.... almost.

This year I added my garden gate to the group and planted sweet peas to climb up.  Unlike my sweet peas in my veggie garden, these are just for enjoying, not cutting.

The pink ones are the palest of pinks with a bit of darker pink.  Of course, they smell fantastic!

The hanging baskets are full of the prettiest calibrochia or million bells that I've found.  The darker pink almost looks star like.  And the baskets are overflowing.

A little pink bicopa is so dainty looking.

And these heirloom hollyhocks.  They do fantastic year after year.  No rust spots even!  These came from my mom's garden and have been there since my great grandma's days.  An heirloom in every sense of the word.

They get so tall... to the edge of the gutter... that I have to stack them with 6 foot bamboo poles.

And of course, the star of the show, my Bonica rose.  It just blooms forever and is the prettiest pale pink.  This is the first year I've cut them to bring inside.

Thanks for stopping by my pink garden....

Thanks for stopping by to enjoy my view!  Happy weekend all!

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How Sweet the Sound

Thursday, July 28, 2011

What I did on my summer vacation....

Did you ever have to write an essay at the beginning of the school year?  You know the one... "What I did on my summer vacation."   Well, this is my adult version... but first I have to tell you... we don't travel much for our vacations.... we're homebodies, homeboys, homegirls.  We didn't venture further than the Seattle area.

Our first day was spent helping my daughter and her boyfriend move into their new apartment in Seattle... from Toronto Ontario.  I'm thrilled to have them "close by".  We started the day at Beth's Cafe near Green Lake...
the home of endless hash browns and the 12 egg omelet.... Really, they've been featured on the Food network and everything!  After getting them mostly settled into their new apartment we headed towards home. 

The day ended in our own little city of Lynden and the local Raspberry Festival. 
We enjoyed burgers on a picnic table with my son.  What a great way to spend the day... breakfast with my daughter and dinner with my son.  In the SAME state!

This trip to Seattle also resulted in the purchase of this...
my birthday fence for the veggie garden.  It matches my garden gate and is another project for the endless list!

Most of our vacation days were spent painting... at home...

and here... you may remember the Peach Palace? 

Well she ain't peach anymore! 
I must admit, I only painted... none of the endless prep work of scraping and scraping and scraping and scraping... And although she's not peach, she's also still not done!  For a little house, the painting seems to be endless.  I almost welcomed the rainy days that meant no painting!

There were also cupcakes involved during vacation... homemade....

and these beauties from Seattle's Trophy Cupcake!

A birthday surprise was waiting for me on my porch on my birthday...

A second trip to the Seattle area involved a ferry ride

complete with Coast Guard escort... and yep, that's a huge gun mounted on the front.  Not a sight I was expecting on a short ferry ride!

The trip was to visit with my daughter and her guy at his parent's home.

A home with a breathtaking view.

And this cute little secret path...

takes you to this beautiful sandy beach.

After a wonderful salmon dinner, it was time to head back on the ferry towards Seattle.  You can see Seattle and Mt. Rainier across the water at the ferry dock.

Loading up on the Puyallup ferry.

And a trip to Seattle?  Of course, lattes were involved.

You may have noticed, this vacation meant a vacation from blogging as well.  It wasn't intentional, it just kind of happened... but I'm happy to be back! 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Somewhere, over the rainbow....

Yesterday was one of those quirky weather days.  Kind of cloudy, kind of sunny... Of course all the gardens were dry so watering needed to happen.  Watering takes me about 45 to 55 minutes.... as soon as I was finished... it rained.  Not just rain, but a down pour.  Now I know that we could use the rain, but really couldn't it have started BEFORE I spent almost an hour watering?

Well at least the double rainbow was pretty.

As for the garden, well the first of my sweet peas are blooming on my garden gate... the one I got for Christmas.  Soon this metal beauty will actually function as a real gate... but you'll have to wait for that.

And pink Larkspur... I really love this stuff.  What I didn't know was that it self seeds, prolifically.  Two or three years ago I planted one start... now I have to weed it out of places that I don't want it to grow!  But I certainly got my monies worth.

Speaking of monies worth... my self planted, from seed, white impatiens... up close and personal.

And from a bit farther back.  I like the white... it matches everything else in any garden AND it shows up so well at dusk, on rainy days, cloudy days, sunny days... you name it.

The first zinnia.... finally.  This one is called "Mexican Pinwheel", it's also planted from seed.  The zinnias have been a bit slow to start this year.  Heat lovers without heat I suppose.

And a few shots from around the veggie garden... my Roma tomatoes.  My absolute favorite for making my home canned tomato sauce.  If it's a good tomato year I get tons off of one plant.  Some people insist that we can't grow them around here but I usually don't have any problems.

This year my son brought me a couple of plants from a co-worker that started hundreds of tomato plants from seed.  This lovely is a beefsteak.  Don't ya just love the shape of this one?  And it's HUGE!

Another beefsteak with a nice cluster.  And did you see that orangey-red in the background?  Well that is "red tomato mulch".  It's actually permeable plastic that keeps the plants fairly weed free and evenly watered.  Supposedly the red color helps the tomatoes to bloom.... or maybe it helps ripen them more quickly... I forget but it certainly doesn't hurt.  I used it two years ago and had a bumper crop so I wanted to use it again this year to even up the odds with our lackluster weather.

Purple bush beans... and yes, the beans will be purple too!  Very cool, they do turn green when you cook them.  Not a hybrid but an actual heirloom bean.  Isn't nature funny?

A shot of the onions, leeks and tomatoes.  I grow a lot of Walla Walla Sweets... one of my favorite onions.  I also grow white and red "keepers"... ones that store well.  And leeks?  Well there is nothing like potato leek soup in the fall or winter... all made from my very own garden!  And it appears that I need to get out and weed again!

And for the next few days... showers are predicted. I'll just keep in mind that "Somewhere... over the rainbow, skies are blue...."  (I don't think I need to tell anyone where this song comes from!).... and at least there are no flying monkies to contend with at Red Gate Farm... although after all that weeding I wouldn't be surprised if a witch doesn't appear...

It's almost the weekend and the start of my week long, birthday week vacation!  Yipee!

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Monday, July 11, 2011

And not to be forgotten....

Besides my fabulous score of a vintage Pepsi crate (read about it here)...

I also came home from my thrift store visit last Friday with a couple of other great finds.  This tablecloth is in pristine condition... still has the tag (Wilendur) and is a large 72 by 50.  I'm not usually a red person but this would be fun for Valentine's Day or a party... maybe even Christmas or an anniversary!  And the price?  Another $3.99 price tag that day.

I really liked this medium sized oval platter.  Anything with green on it!  And for just $1.99, who could resist.  The maker is Myott... anyone know the pattern name?

And of course, a couple of milk glass vases.  The larger sized ones.  I paid $.49 for the one in front and $.29 for the one in back... can never have too much milk glass

Counting down the days.... to a week off from work... but not from Red Gate Farm!

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