Life in Bay Center on Willapa Bay

Living in a maritime fishing village in Southwest Washington state on Willapa Bay

May 4, 2005 – Vegetable Garden, Barn Swallows – Garden Journal entry

Posted by pallix on June 21, 2007

May 4, 2005

Iris is blooming and gorgeous. My mother gave me these from her garden after she thinned hers last season and I got them planted in my yard last year. It was not the season for them to bloom, and they were fairly straggly. I cut them in fan shape as my mother recommended and sort of just crossed my fingers and hoped they might take to their new home.

This year, they have done beautifully with healthy leaves and almost every one of them has blossoms. It is as I envisioned it when I planted them along the fence-line. A row of beautiful iris which would bloom in the spring. I can look out my kitchen window and see them and I am very pleased. It has been my plan to be able to look out my kitchen window at my garden and to expand the lawn area there to have varieties of flowers in a flower garden. The row of iris along the fence-line is the beginning back of the row of my future flower garden.

My plan is to add a row as I can each year, with the barrier being having to dig out sod to create the flower garden. I can only do so much digging and carrying off sod as my body permits, so it is slow work which I knew would take years to realize. But I’m delighted that the iris row is looking so well, and it will be the beginning of many more varieties of wildflowers for my wildflower garden.

When the years pass, I will one day be able to look out my kitchen window and see a wildflower habitat next to my vegetable garden. But this is also a fairly well manicured yard with some most special showcase type bushes, trees, and plantings deliberately placed by the previous owner(s). I have to go slowly so as not to detract from the natural flow or give the appearance of clutter where there is now some orderly appearance.

Vegetable garden started now. I planted some vegetable seeds into starter pots last week and some are beginning to show plants. It was a sunny day yesterday and good time to work on planting the rest of the vegetable seeds.

I just don’t have the will, room, energy to work all the seeds into starter pots, so I sowed the seeds directly into the garden soil. It’s a risky thing to do as there are birds galore here, and not sure if the seeds will survive bird feedings. But that is what I did and I marked the rows so I would remember what was what. I also made a map of the garden and what was planted so that I could remember and watch for little plants to sprout.

I know what some vegetable plants look like so know what to expect from those, but others I do not know and need a map to help me out. So here is what is planted now in this years garden:

Sunflowers to line the entire back of the garden by the fence.
Sweet Corn in front of the sunflower line on the left side of garden.
Sweet Peas in front of the corn on left side of garden.
Beets in front of the sweet peas on left side of garden. These are seeds in starter pots and I plan to transplant when they show plantlings.
Turnips in a semi-circle planting will butt up against the beets and the hill I made at garden corner for zucchini.
Zucchini in a mound I made at left corner of garden.
Onions from last year which are returning this year. Another small semi-circle of turnips planted around the onions.
Cucumbers in another mound I made at front center of garden
— break —
Carrots at right angle to the corn and peas, in a half row.
Green Beans will be in front of the sunflowers on the left side of garden. I forgot to check to see if these will need trellis or pole.
Lima Beans will be in front of green beans on the left side of the garden. I haven’t grown these before.
Carrots along the right border edge of garden. Figured I could easily get to these and do a second planting.
Lettuce, iceberg, alongside the carrots.
Radishes row alongside the carrots. Again, figured I could easily get to it for second planting.
Tomatoes, cherry, alongside the radishes
Tomatoes, full size, alongside the cherry tomatoes.
Green Peppers in a teardrop shaped section next to tomatoes.

Well that fills the garden space that I have, yet I have more seeds. So, will also do either the split topsoil bag and grow direct from bag or containers for some of the other seeds. Other seeds, like radishes, carrots, lettuce are reserved for second plantings.
Now, let’s see if this garden can be grown from seeds and if the seeds survive the birds around here who know where to find seeds! My back up plan is that if the seeds don’t take is to purchase small starter plants from local nursery.

On a side note, the barn swallows are back again this year (3rd year running) in the carport/garage area. Already they have their new nest. I really like those birds making their home where I can enjoy them, but they do create a real mess with their droppings which are directly atop where the vehicles are parked.

This seems to have been an ongoing situation at this house as we can see evidence of the previous owner trying to discourage these birds in as friendly a way possible. Last year, Sweetie printed out some ferocious looking owl photos and hung them around to discourage the barn swallows. It didn’t work!

When I told him I heard the birds there today and found a new nest on the light socket, not the same place as last year, but again, above where he parks his truck, he said he’d take the nest down. I said No, we can’t do that now as they already have their nest and maybe eggs already. So we will have more adventures with our friends in the carport/garage this year. They naturally, by their nature, understand it to be their home, not ours.

Actually, I need to do a bit more research on what type of bird they are, as last year, I determined they were barn swallows via accidentally internet exploration. I’m glad they are back though, I like how they look and sound. Kind of a delicate small bird with some color and a very pleasant bird song.

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