Apple trees are great additions to any yard or garden, providing a source of food for bees, birds, wildlife and us! There’s nothing like the joy of watching your tree bloom in the spring, expectantly waiting for the fruit to ripen, and finally eating an apple freshly picked off your tree. The topic of pollination, however, can be confusing, so let’s review the basics.
An emerging idea as we blur the boundaries between ornamental and food gardening is the Food Forest. A project garnering recent attention is the Cascadia College (CC) Food Forest, on the campus shared by Cascadia and the University of Washington, Bothell (UWB). It is one of a few but growing number of college campuses in the U.S. which are maintained using sustainable practices and without pesticides or synthetic fertilizers.
On a late-summer day of 2015, a windstorm roared through Swansons. Near the southeastern portion of the property, a fence draped with mature Vitis (Grapes) and Rosa (Roses) came crashing down and was then removed. Over time, Swansons thought about plans for the almost 100ft long empty space and by 2017 it was finally time to begin.
Kids well know the glowing excitement of watching a bee go about its business flower to flower in the sunshine. And hopefully, most adults out there haven’t forgotten the feeling, either. Being a steward of mason bees is a special opportunity to watch these busy creatures transform your yard-scape into one of balance and bounty.
Greetings from the coop! Spring is here and so are the chicks! They were hatched on March 19th, so they are barely two and a half weeks old. They arrived at the very end of March and seem to be settling in just fine. They are beyond adorable. ... I fed it Fuchsias from my garden. I did this for several days until I realized it had stopped feeding and had burrowed under the moss. It was pupating! A large brown chrysalis lay in the leaf debris. I kept it out on a sheltered porch during most of the winter, bringing it indoors during harder freezes, then back out for the remainder of the winter.
So I confess I was a bit surprised when I stumbled across a great article about the virtues of the dandelion, written by Saara Nafici of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Brooklyn? you say. I know, right? When I think of Brooklyn, I think concrete jungle, not meadows of wildflowers (It's okay, Seattle, our designer chickens are still designery-er than theirs).