Slowing Down

For me March was always the kick off to camping season. Finding a cabin early in the season then in April heading to our family campsite on the Olympic Peninsula for opening day of fishing; May and June to Eastern Washington before it gets too hot and that itch to go and explore is still there. To combat that sense of go, go, go I walk since it’s now my only form of escape. What I noticed this time around, since I have the time and don’t feel a need to rush, I actually pay more attention to my surroundings.

Still image from 10 Parks That Changed AmericaI found a pocket park near my house. A tribute to fallen motorcyclists with trees and placards honoring those who had passed. Walking through slowly I read all the names and couldn’t believe I hadn’t seen it before. Maybe because it was next to a busy street and so more of a place we pass then visit, but not that day. Continue reading “Slowing Down”

Gardening with Veg in Mind

It is well known that gardening tends to improve one’s quality of life. Gardening gets you out in the fresh air (while respecting social distancing), adds positive energy into your life, gives you something fun to do, and provides a new activity that the whole family can participate in. It would be best to plant ASAP to get into this summer season.

Gardening is the number one hobby in the U.S. There are gardening shows on YouTube set in the United Kingdom. But there are also gardening shows here in the U.S. by homesteaders, with most taking place in the South. Recently, these homesteading YouTubers are recommending growing quick crops like lettuce, spinach, peas, and beans, which are okay for growing here in the Pacific Northwest. The cabbage family (kale, broccoli, etc.) are also great for the Pacific Northwest, although it might be getting too warm for them now. Tomatoes and peppers require lots of sun, and need to be planted as starts. Continue reading “Gardening with Veg in Mind”

The Joys of Winter Gardening

There’s nothing like a sunny Seattle day during the long dreary winter, especially for those who like to garden. The minute the sun breaks through that cloud cover, even just for a few minutes, you’ll see gardeners all over the city trying to get things in order. For those willing to brave the colder months, though, dedicated winter gardening can offer rewards and surprises that feel extra special. Want to see what’s possible in the world of winter gardening? Here are a few titles to guide and inspire.

Continue reading “The Joys of Winter Gardening”

Celebrate pollinators in June!

Learn more about pollinators, how to attract them into your garden, and reflect on what can be done to protect them and the work they do in our ecosystems. Of course it’s a subject always of interest, but June 17-23, 2019 is National Pollinator Week, designated by the U.S. Senate as a celebration of pollinators such as bees, butterflies, bats, and more. Here are some books and resources on bees and other pollinators.

Our Native Bees: North America’s Endangered Pollinators and the Fight to Save Them by Paige Embry
Organized by bee, Embry provides an overview of the various native bee species in the U.S, covering the nesting, foraging and mating habits of each bee. Embry visits the owners of almond groves, cherry orchards, blueberry fields and more to better understand different bees. Written in a chatty, folksy tone with many high-quality photos, this is a lovely book to dip in and out of. Continue reading “Celebrate pollinators in June!”

Birds, Bees, and Butterflies

The first Spring in our new house was spent figuring out where we wanted things and tackling the things we didn’t – I battled sticker bushes and morning glory, we moved garden beds, and got a patio poured. This year all that hard work started coming together. I planted vegetables, we got patio furniture, and got some flower beds organized – but like all good library nerds I had to do research first.

I’ve always wanted my yard to be habitat friendly so when I weeded I didn’t just take out everything that’s considered a weed. I kept clover and bachelor’s button despite their bad reputation. I also let things happen naturally with random plants that popped up on their own like lupine, hyacinths, daffodils, and a calla lilly! We added lavender, rosemary, borage, and mint for bees. I also, made little rain gardens and added bird feeders and from last year we have foxgloves and crocosmia for the hummingbirds.

I’ve seen so much new wildlife come into our yard lately; looking forward to what each year brings! Here are a few books in our collection that helped me out: Continue reading “Birds, Bees, and Butterflies”