It’s been another week of cool, cloudy and mostly rainy weather. It’s like some bad sci fi movie where all the inhabits of a city have been abducted by aliens while they slept and transferred to another city that looks just like the one they were stolen from except something is not quite right. In this case it’s the weather. The aliens gave us Seattle weather by mistake. While I rather like cool, I don’t like this constant gray rain. It’s starting to get on my nerves and making me a bit grumpy.

Gardening this week has been almost nonexistent. The only time I have gotten to spend outdoors was for about an hour and a half yesterday morning. I did a tour of the garden to see how things were going and then did a fast weed of the veggies, herbs, and a flower bed in the front yard. At that point the clouds had rolled in thick and it was getting so humid it seemed like it might start raining any second.

growing veggies

growing veggies

The garden is looking great. All the rain makes for lots of green. The only plants that are not happy are the tomatoes, peppers, marigolds and basil. These are warm weather sun-loving plants and they are barely holding on. The peas are going crazy though and so are the beans. The radishes look like I might be able to start pulling them in 1-2 weeks. The lettuce and spinach are growing well too though they are still too small to pick leaves from yet. It will be at least 2-3 weeks before I can consider nibbling on them.

I was very excited to see that Bossy and Bingo, my front garden apple trees, are loaded with tiny apples. So many that we

creeping sedum

creeping sedum

will have to knock a few off eventually once they get a little bigger and we can better tell just how many there are. Walter the crab has one apple that I could see. And Bea, the honeycrisp, I can’t tell yet if there will be apples. Fingers crossed! The really exciting thing though is Boo the blueberry. He is loaded, loaded, with tiny green berries. I wasn’t expecting blueberries this first year at all but I guess we will have some! Bookman and I are already planning the bird netting logistics. We do not want to share our blueberries.

hyssop & peas

hyssop & peas

Blooming this week is creeping sedum, creeping baby’s breath, prairie violets, and anise hyssop. My camera decided to focus on the peas in the background instead of the flower in the foreground so forgive the blurry. The hyssop is planted by the froggy solar fountain which is a big hit with the birds and the squirrels. I wish it wasn’t such a hit with the squirrels, but I don’t think a sign that says “birds only” would be much of a deterrent.

Speaking of animals, I started reading a book from the library called My Backyard Jungle: The Adventures of an Urban Wildlife Lover Who Turned His Yard Into Habit and Learned to Live with it. Yeah, the title is a mouthful. I’ve not gotten far, but it is very interesting. He hasn’t spent much time in his own yard yet before going off to a town in Florida to get a tour of where the monkeys hang out. Yup, there is a city in Florida with wild monkeys. The monkeys are not native, they escaped from a privately owned entertainment park a very long time ago and have made themselves at home. It is weird enough seeing a raccoon out my window now and then so I can’t imagine what it must be like to have monkeys. Maybe I’ll learn how to get along with my squirrels by the end of the book.

I won’t be learning how to get along with a honeybee hive of my own though. I’ve done some research and they are not

creeping baby's breath & violets

creeping baby’s breath & violets

maintenance free even if I don’t want the honey. And call me dumb if you want, but I learned that honey is what bees eat over the winter. I had no idea. Commercial bee operations that take all the honey have to feed the bees during the fall, winter and early spring. So leaving honey in the hive would be fine. Not collecting honey though would eventually cause the hive to run out of room for the bees. When a hive runs out of room the bees swarm and the swarm usually splits in two with one half staying in the hive and the other flying off to look for a new home. It is also possible for the whole swarm to leave. So just leaving the hive to itself means the bees would probably fly off in a few years and leave the hive empty or significantly smaller. Plus, Modern beehives apparently, aren’t built very well and require upkeep and replacement every 3-5 years. I am better off just planting lots of things that bees like, one bee will tell the others where it found good food, and I’ll leave the bee hives for someone else to take care of.

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