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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Look out Seattle!

Garden Bloggers are on the loose, with cameras in hand! It’s that time of year again for the annual Garden Bloggers Fling. Garden Bloggers from around the United States (plus Canada and England this year) are hosted by a group of local bloggers for a few days of garden blissfulness. Seattle is the host of the 4th annual fling. The first Fling was hosted by Pam at Digging and her fellow Austin bloggers. The 2009 Fling was in Chicago and the 2010 Fling was in Buffalo. The Buffalo Fling (aka Buffa10) was my first Fling, I had only been blogging a few months when I attended, it was a great way to get introduced to this microcosm of the blogging world. You can see my posts from Buffalo here.

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The home of Suzette and Jim Birrell
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The home of Suzette and Jim Birrell

 
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The home of Shelagh Tucker


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Dunn Gardens

This year’s Seattle Fling hosts are Debra Prinzing, Lorene Edwards Forkner, and Marty Wingate. They put in a ton of work and have done an amazing job at planning this years Fling. Stay tuned for more stories and pictures from the 2011 Seattle Fling.

Friday, July 22, 2011

July Garden Bloggers Bloom Day

Sorry, folks, I can’t believe I’ve been such a slacker, but sometimes the rest of life just gets in the way of the blog life. I was in San Diego last week for a conference, over the weekend I visited the San Diego Botanic Gardens and the Meditation Gardens at the Self Realization Fellowship, both in Encinitas. Now, I am in Seattle at the 2011 Garden Bloggers Fling taking tons of pictures and enjoying the cool weather.

So, this is what was blooming in my garden on Garden Bloggers Bloom Day.

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chenille plant
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pride of barbados
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'Heaven's Gate' coreopsis
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pentas
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lisianthus
My cutting garden experiment-still alive in this heat.

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hamelia patens, Mexican Firebush
     

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black-eyed susan
 Other flowers blooming include: heliotrope, calibrachoa, plumeria, hot lips salvia, blackfoot daisy, Convolvulus ‘Blue Daze’, pavonia peruviana and pavonia lasiopetala, batface cuphea, white turks cap, iochroma, gregg’s mist flower, and calliandra.

Thanks to May Dreams Gardens for hosting Garden Bloggers Bloom Day!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Time to use the Rain Barrels

Just my luck, the year of the most severe drought in state history is the year I decide to install rain barrels. It’s hard to save rain, if it never rains.

I bought two 300 gallon rain barrels back in March to put next to the gazebo. I had the gutters redirected into the barrels around the first of April. Then, they sat there empty for almost two months. The 1 1/2” of rain we had a little over a week ago equaled about 200 gallons of rain in the barrels. Yippee! I can finally test these babies out.

All that was left to do was attach some hoses to the barrels so I could start using that precious water. This is where the experiment begins. I have heard that people have had a hard time getting enough water pressure from their rain barrel for soaker hoses to work. But, I think many of those people have 55 gallon barrels.

I have a large garden to cover so I put a 2-way splitter on the faucet so that I could attach multiple hoses. IMG_2979Before attaching the soaker hose to the splitter, I removed the little disk inside the end of it. The disk is used to reduce pressure, but reducing pressure was the last thing I wanted to do. Next, I put a rubber gasket in place of the pressure reducer to keep the water from leaking. Initially, I just wanted to see if this would work. I uncoiled my soaker hose across the yard so that I could watch the water come out. After turning the faucet on there was a delay until the soaker hose started weeping, but it did and the water made it clear to the end of the hose. Success!

IMG_2980The next test was to see if I had enough pressure to connect two 75’ hoses together. That’s the max recommended to join together under normal conditions (using water from the house faucet). It took a little bit longer this time, but the water did make it to the end of the second hose.

These gardens are only a few months old and don’t have many established plants so it was much easier to lay the soaker hose than if the plants were full grown. My next chore is to bury the hoses under the mulch. I think watering is more efficient with a buried soaker hose plus it looks much nicer. I have 3 other beds with soaker hoses and no one even knows they’re there.

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Now, if we could just get some more rain.