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Gardening 2013 #1: An early start to the year!

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Blog entry by NavyCop68 posted 02-10-2013 06:27 PM 3518 reads 0 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Gardening 2013 series Part 2: Half way through the summer - update... »

Hello all! Been on my, seemingly normal, winter hiatus from blogging but decided to return early. It’s been a an interesting few months with some highs and lows. The big low is that my father passed away on the 20th of December in Montana after getting hit with a pretty nasty lung issue. He was 72 and very healthy but the issue hit hard and quickly. In his life he retired after 20 years in the US Air Force, retired after almost 19 years with Norwest/Wells Fargo Bank in the trust division, and spent many years as a noted Lewis and Clark historian and most recently a historian dealing with the fur trapping trade in Montana and local Native American tribes. He will be missed by many…

This is actually dad on a training flight during officers training (early is his career). He would be the first to tell you it was all him, but he couldn’t get on a ladder without feeling a pretty intense fear of heights!

After two years of virtual unemployment / underemployment, I am now working two jobs part-time and am back in school working on my second bachelors degree in Computer Security and Forensics so definitely busy.

My son and I went to the Portland Yard and Garden Show this weekend and so the bug has hit me again, as it does every year, but a little earlier. The Portland show is one of the best in the area and takes us literally two hours to walk through, casually strolling all of the exhibits, booths and vendors.

That’s my assistant at the show and you can probably tell from behind him that my shot does not do the size of the show justice.

Off to finish dinner for now, but 2013 looks to be a year of multiple projects and updates on some of the older projects from last year.. In fact, the front yard is about 1/2 done and I added a removable pvc sprinkler system as well…

More pics to come!

-- Steve, Vancouver, WA



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NavyCop68

262 posts in 3165 days
hardiness zone 8

This is my yearly update and record of what I have done up to this point. Hopefully each year will be a building experience...

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15 comments so far

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14694 posts in 3873 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 02-11-2013 02:02 PM

Sorry to hear about your dad. What a wonderful photo to have!
And a great partner you have there too

What ideas from the show are you going to implement in your gardens?

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View NavyCop68's profile

NavyCop68

262 posts in 3165 days
hardiness zone 8

posted 02-11-2013 04:15 PM

It’s been almost two months now and I am thankful that I am as busy as I am or I would probably dwell on his passing a lot more than I have. Mom, on the other hand, has nothing but time and it has been exceptionally rough for her. Doesn’t help that she is in Montana and we live in Washington.

As for ideas, well, I have a couple and will be setting up a list of possible to-do’s for this season. Need to get out and get some pictures to add to it, but in the rough:

1. Looking at setting up some inexpensive cold boxes so I can start some early season stuff like lettuce and the like. Got some good ideas from the show and need to price some supplies out (and look on Craigslist for used supplies as well)
2. The front yard is a good start from last years full tilling and reseeding. I set up a temporary pvc sprinkler system which works pretty well and planted a heartier banana tree (a cutting from one of the families my wife services in her job working with special needs kids) so we will see if that survived the winter in the next couple of months.
3. I had an idea about setting up a larger rain water collection system beside the house that I can take apart when we move, but that will collect from both the front and back gutter systems. Penciling that one out this next week as it is fresh in my head!
4. Moving a couple of raised beds to the front as I have lost over half my sunlight in the back yard due to three extremely large and gangly fir trees which the homeowner won’t trim.

And that is a good start so far….

One idea I got from the show was building a miniature garden… The idea is using a fairly large planter and using small plants and decorations to build a dream garden or landscape a miniature garden. Hard to explain but the web link is http://www.dennis7dees.com/garden-centers/plants-products/miniature-gardening/ and they are local to us with classes and supplies. Talking to one of the their landscapers I found this to be an interesting way to build sections of the ultimate garden that I might want to see once we have a place to work with… I will be checking into it more, but a couple of the gardens they had built for the show were pretty spectacular!!

That is it for now… Will expand more in my next blog and will be building my own blog as well (partly for a class I am taking and partly cause I want to!!)

-- Steve, Vancouver, WA

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14694 posts in 3873 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 02-12-2013 12:42 AM

“build a dream garden or landscape a miniature garden” <<< what an interesting concept to create the dream garden in miniature. I will definitely be checking out that link.

Our fellow GardenTenders Shirley Bovshow posted a video re: making miniature gardens.

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View ChrisMobley's profile

ChrisMobley

4 posts in 1832 days

posted 02-12-2013 07:42 AM

Thank you for sharing in this post.
Chris Mobley
www.cmobleydesigns.com

View justjoel's profile

justjoel

1063 posts in 3254 days
hardiness zone 7a

posted 02-12-2013 08:45 AM

Good to see you back, Steve. I love hearing tales from my hometown. Also love to see the planning bug biting others.

-- "We are stardust. We are golden. And we've got to get ourselves back to the garden." Joni Mitchell

View NavyCop68's profile

NavyCop68

262 posts in 3165 days
hardiness zone 8

posted 02-14-2013 06:09 PM

Thanks Joel. Been a busy one, but looking forward to this season.

-- Steve, Vancouver, WA

View Radicalfarmergal's profile

Radicalfarmergal

4312 posts in 3136 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 02-15-2013 05:03 AM

Good to have you back with us, NavyCop68, sorry to hear about the loss of your father. I look forward to reading about your gardening adventures this year. I wish you lots of creative energy….

-- "...I have nothing against authorities as such; I am only in favor of putting a question mark after just about everything they say." Ruth Stout

View lavender22's profile

lavender22

85 posts in 1826 days
hardiness zone 8a

posted 02-19-2013 04:18 PM

Sorry about your dad. Funny I live in the small city of Wood village Oregon:) I always go to the Portland garden show with my husband. Great show and we always have a great time. We will have to be buddy’s:)

-- I love hostas:)

View NavyCop68's profile

NavyCop68

262 posts in 3165 days
hardiness zone 8

posted 02-20-2013 12:27 AM

lavender22, good show this year. I have to admit that the 7 dees display garden was the best and I wasn’t as taken by the others. Bits and pieces of each drew my attention, but nothing overall this year. The rest of the show was pretty good, as usual!

I’ve been through Wood Village a few times on my way to Gresham and such. Nice small town atmosphere from what I have seen!

Glad to have you on board as a buddy!

Radicalfarmergal, thanks for the sentiments. Been a hard adjustment for everyone (his community as much as the family).

-- Steve, Vancouver, WA

View NavyCop68's profile

NavyCop68

262 posts in 3165 days
hardiness zone 8

posted 02-20-2013 12:26 PM

Lavender22, Speaking of the garden show this year, I won a drawing! Doesn’t happen too often so I need to make use of 30 seconds of bragging rights!

So… put my name in to a few drawings and won a free session at the Garden Bootcamp and a set of gardening tools that just came in the mail today! And not too shabby quality either!

Very cool if I say so myself!

Alright…. bragging off and back to work… :)

-- Steve, Vancouver, WA

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14694 posts in 3873 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 02-20-2013 12:29 PM

wow .. impressive!!!! Congratulations … woo hoo.

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View justjoel's profile

justjoel

1063 posts in 3254 days
hardiness zone 7a

posted 02-20-2013 01:21 PM

Very nice! Almost bought me a Hori-Hori styled knife the other day (because it was on sale) – just wasn’t sure I needed to be quite that well-armed, so bought a smaller digger/weeding tool.

Great score, Steve – the Bootcamp sounds like fun!

-- "We are stardust. We are golden. And we've got to get ourselves back to the garden." Joni Mitchell

View NavyCop68's profile

NavyCop68

262 posts in 3165 days
hardiness zone 8

posted 02-20-2013 06:31 PM

Joel… It was nice to get one in the mail for free! And, my mom lives in Montana still and they have been hearing about zombies, so better to be safe than sorry!!

Definitely looking forward to the bootcamp.. Will pass on any good info that I get (will be in May, though!)

-- Steve, Vancouver, WA

View lavender22's profile

lavender22

85 posts in 1826 days
hardiness zone 8a

posted 03-27-2013 09:54 AM

So sorry to hear about your Dad passing. My dad was in the air force and also a pilot. Your plans sound good for this year and can’t wait to see the miniature garden. I was thinking of doing one.

-- I love hostas:)

View NavyCop68's profile

NavyCop68

262 posts in 3165 days
hardiness zone 8

posted 03-27-2013 08:49 PM

Dad was never a pilot (he had a hard enough time driving in the mountains much less flying – his fear of heights was pretty pronounced!) Have been pretty busy with school and work so have not had the chance to really get back here and blog yet.. Have not done too much in the yard yet either, but moved in some dirt today. A few of the flowers are popping and three of our early bulbs finally flowered. I transplanted several of them (daffodils) a couple of years ago from one area to another and they would come up but wouldn’t flower until this year so I am taking that as a sign of a successful season!

-- Steve, Vancouver, WA

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