Master Gardener’s Corner — Fooled by drought

June 25, 2015

In April, I wrote about the beautiful spring we were having. It was dry and sunny for so many days. It didn’t dawn on me that in April we might have to water.

I have never watered that early, usually not until June.  My yard doesn’t use much water; it’s mostly natives with a few special plants and containers that need spot watering.

Read more

Bookmark and Share

Master gardener’s corner — Ode to a shed

April 28, 2015

This spring’s weather is beautiful, one of the best we’ve had.

Either that or I’m just in a good mood right now. But it does remind me of past springs with nice memories of my childhood yard and in particular, our tool shed. It wasn’t a real shed; it was part of our big, old garage that was built for carriages in 1908. It had a hayloft upstairs and little paned windows for light, rather like an Andrew Wyeth painting.

Read more

Bookmark and Share

Is it winter or spring?

March 25, 2015

The spring equinox is upon us. People traditionally greet it with incredible joy.

Some happy, spirited souls might throw a giant feast; students stay up all night and consume too much liquor. Others might dance the night away, while some unusual folks do strange things. I don’t know what you might like to do to celebrate the end of winter — the termination of scarcity, and the return of hope and plenty.

Read more

Bookmark and Share

Prune it right

February 24, 2015

It looks like we are having a very early spring this year. Many of us will not be gardening and pruning early enough to keep up with the “El Niño” conditions.

Usually, February is a good time to dig and move plants, prune fruit trees and roses, cut back ornamental grasses, and just get ready for the growing season. This year, most plants are way ahead of schedule.

Read more

Bookmark and Share

Master gardener’s corner — Bugged or elated?

September 23, 2014

I was down at Boehm’s the other day. The weather was gray but warm, and I was feeling a little flat.

When I got out of my car I sniffed the air to see if I could find the wonderful scent of chocolate. I couldn’t. I couldn’t because the smell of a fantastic rose overcame everything. It flooded the parking lot, the air and me. It was terrific. I was uplifted just by that smell.

The sense of smell is very strong and capable of bringing back images and memories that we think are lost, including childhood experiences or maybe a fantastic meal. A nice memory can lift your mood and change a cloudy day into a sunny one. I’m not sure if you can overload your senses or not, but it would be fun to try.

Read more

Bookmark and Share

Savor the summer in your garden

September 2, 2014

In going through my Issaquah Press files, I found an article from August 2009 that expressed my exact, same feelings this year. This summer must be a repeat of the one in 2009.

Spring in Issaquah is always cool and wet, right? In summer, we have high temperatures in the 70s, right? And we see cloud cover day after day after day, right? Not this year. This year, the sun, the temperatures and the days without rain have just blown us all away.

Read more

Bookmark and Share

Embrace the artistic you in your garden

July 29, 2014

A few years ago, a friend of mine from the East Coast visited her son in Seattle. She is a professional floral designer with an eye for the artistic, as opposed to the scientific.

We decided it would be fun to visit a nursery together and check out the plants. We each grabbed a cart and started out across the colorful, lush, potted landscape. She started filling her cart with everything colorful and beautiful. I was interested in odd specimens and natives that fit the peculiar conditions in my yard. We went our separate ways for a while, searching and looking at each and every morsel.

Read more

Bookmark and Share

Oh, to be an English gardener

May 27, 2014

MasterGardenLogo 2013 copyEnglish gardeners are really something. They know intricate little secrets that we wouldn’t even dream of.

Years and years of trial and error have taught them what works, and it seems to work on all levels, not just aesthetics. English gardens seem to make plants, animals, good insects and Mother Nature all smile in appreciation.

For example, they might plant early daffodils under a Corylopsis bush. Why? There are many reasons, and these are a few: First, the Corylopsis will keep frost off the ground when the daffodils are trying to bloom. Second, the shrub allows plenty of sun on the daffodils with its sparse branching and bare limbs in winter. And finally, the shrub leafs out and spares us the indignity of looking at the old, dead and dying leaves of the daffodils.

Read more

Bookmark and Share

2013 Issaquah Sammamish Home and Garden Show

May 6, 2013

Bookmark and Share

Food preservation goes beyond home canning

April 17, 2012

Samantha Zistatsis, of Issaquah, cans everything at home, like peaches and pickles, to better preserve nutrients. By Greg Farrar

As a child, Samantha Zistatsis grew up outdoors, with a garden, critters and the whole nine yards. Her family took the best of nature and canned it for healthy eating throughout the year.

But when she grew up, Zistatsis took a hiatus from the outdoors, moving inside to concentrate on a career in electrical engineering.

However, armed with a new understanding of processes, when Zistatsis married and had children, she left the workforce to become a full-time mom and return to her first love — healthy eating.

To achieve that goal, she dove full bore into food preservation. She knew she had everything she needed to succeed at her Issaquah home.

Read more

Bookmark and Share

Next Page »