Godless in the garden


Godless in the garden

Welcome to gardeners, growers of veggies, fruits, flowers, and trees, backyard hen enthusiasts, worm farmers, & composters!

Location: Planet Earth
Members: 181
Latest Activity: on Saturday

Welcome to Eden!

If you like to dig in the dirt, grow flowers, putter around the yard, dig in the kitchen garden, raise backyard hens, or just like daydreaming about the garden, this is the place.

Many topics have been discussed in the archive.  Revive a topic by adding your 2¢ or start a new topic.

Everyone likes photos of the garden, so if you like to share photos of your prize dahlia, your favorite hen, or your first tomato, go right ahead!

Discussion Forum

Hope in the Middle of Big Ag

Started by Joan Denoo. Last reply by Randall Smith Aug 3. 1 Reply

Comment Wall


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Comment by Joan Denoo on March 5, 2015 at 10:56am

Because I live on one of those pancake-like lava flows that make up the Columbia Plateau Basalts, my ground is in a dip in the pancake. Cold coming down the mountain settle in my garden as it moves down into the Spokane River valley. This little patch holds the cold air when ground around this neighborhood is frost free. 

This is a lovely spot. In the days of the Native migrations, Indians camped on this little depression because there were many wild berries and bulbs, including camas. The ground is swamp like because the snow melt from Brown's Mt. flows underground to what is now Manito Pond. Ground water used to surface in my spot until the city grew upslope toward the mountain. There are many ponds that remain. Lots of wild birds, especially the migratory geese and ducks although the blue birds are long gone as well as many other species. We have the first frost of autumn and last frost of spring. 

Manito Pond, one block from my home

Japanese Garden, about six blocks from my home

Columbia River basalts underlay these features. Their natural springs used to dry up in the hot summers and the city now keeps them at a constant level with city water.  

Manito has several formal gardens designed by the men who designed NY city's Central Park. Olmsted Brothers. Here is one of their treasures. 

Their designs included both formal and wilderness gardens with many little pockets with benches and chairs among the beautiful scenes. 

Comment by Daniel W on March 5, 2015 at 8:40am
It can be very difficult to find locally appropriate fruit trees. We may have lost many varieties with the nationalization of fruit tree nurseries. New development is especially strong in California. California varieties are often not suitable anywhere else.

Peaches are a good example. In my wet cool maritime clinmate, basically all California peach trees succomb to peach leaf curl disease. It took me many years to figure that out. As far as I can tell,there are only 4 peach varieties that resist that disease. I have all four, one still gets it fairly bad. I dont know how the others will do.

The other thing with peaches is they bloom early. A warmspell can stimulate them to bloom, then a late frost kill them. Apricots are even more sensitive to that - all of my spricot attempts have been killed by frost after they left dormancy. Ditto for an aprium.

There are catalog varieties that claim to overcome these challenges. I dont know how good most of them are. I research each variety before I try it. In some cases that works out.

If a neighbor had a productive, late blooming, disease resistant peach, I would beg for some seeds. As it is, I sm still trying. Peaches are said to bear in 3 or 4 years from seed.
Comment by Randall Smith on March 5, 2015 at 7:27am

Yes, Joan, I've seen Daniel's "addition". Very nice.

I have several apple trees. I refuse to prune them, and they seem to produce an abundant supply. I'm still working on 2013 apple sauce!

Our weather forecast shows a nice rise in temperatures next week--up to 50. Hurray!

Comment by Joan Denoo on March 4, 2015 at 11:55pm

I know what you mean Randy. I cut down my fruit trees because we always a late frost that killed the blossoms and I could use my city lot for other things upon which I could rely upon. My neighbor has a Granny Smith apple that lops over my fence and I was able to get a good harvest from that last year. Her yard is all grass with that one tree. My lot has not one blade of mowable grass and the rest is into herbs, vegetables, fruit bushes. So, she can grow the apples.  
We expect another snifter of snow ... nothing to shovel, but it doesn't melt during the day, except where the sun hits it. Expecting warmer weather next week.  

The weather being so unpredictable, I don't know what to do. I guess just do the things that I would normally do and then replant or plant something different. I want as many perennials as I can get. The self-sowers give me good results.   

Randy, have you seen Daniel's new stone front sidewalk and planting and sunroom? That is an inspiration.   

Comment by Randall Smith on March 4, 2015 at 7:32am

This could be the second year in a row I'll have little or no fruit crop, esp. peaches (and relative nectarines and almonds). I've observed over the years (and it's been substantuated) that below freezing temperatures radically affect the summer crop. And this has been another horrifically cold winter.

Usually by now, I have my garden all plotted out on paper. Nada. We need to have a warm spell to get my juices flowing. This is maddening.

Comment by Daniel W on March 3, 2015 at 9:13am

Bertold - true. 

Barbara - hope you are well!

Randy - Your bees must be very happy!  My Asian persimmon is 7 foot tall now - time will tell if it has a few flowers this year.  The new addition is a "Yates" persimmon, a Dyospyros virginiana cultivar, also called "Juhl",  originally from Indiana, reported as not needing a male pollinator.  At 18 inches tall, I'm not expecting much for a long time.  Your linden probably gives many pounds of nectar.

This is info about Chinese Haw - and fruit.  I'm curious if it will bloom this year.  It's about 5 foot tall, 2 years old.  Should be similar flowers to the regular hawthorns, and I hope, of course, the bees like them.

Comment by Idaho Spud on March 3, 2015 at 9:09am

Attractive Trillium Bertold.

Comment by Bertold Brautigan on March 3, 2015 at 8:39am

@Daniel - I'm beginning to have trepidation you're trying to transact a treacly trend transcending tradition.

Comment by Randall Smith on March 3, 2015 at 8:16am

Lovely trillium, Bertold! All I have is a sea of white.

Daniel, I have a couple of hawthorne trees, too. The squirrels like the berries. I suppose the bees do, too. With my one Linden tree, plus the persimmon and other fruit trees, bees have much to choose from.

Comment by Joan Denoo on March 2, 2015 at 10:10pm

@Barbara Livingston, I haven't seen your name for a while and I hope all is well with you. I have been a bit busy, so may have missed any posts from you. 


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