Apples and Dahlias and Tiger in the Garden

Today I took a stroll through my garden and this is what I saw.

The Apple

One would think it’s easy to grow apples in Washington State, a major exporter of the delicious crop.  One would be wrong (unless one lives in Wenatchee which calls itself the Apple Capital of the World.)

I planted a semi dwarf apple tree two years ago in my garden, and added another pollinator tree this year.  I was encouraged to see several promising apples earlier in the spring.  See picture below for the only healthy apple that remains on my tree. I’m hoping it will not go the way of the others, scabby and dropping prematurely to the earth.  I will give it a few more days before I harvest it.   I plan to savor every bite.

The Dahlias

The dahlias on the other hand, are at their best this month, faithful and eager to please.

I cannot take credit for them.  These came from my mom’s garden a few years ago and she even planted them.  The (expensive) ones I planted next to them earlier this spring did not come up; maybe they were waterlogged from the record rainfall this year.

Tiger

This is Tiger with the lone healthy apple.

Here he is again in the barren spot which had been allotted to the aforementioned dahlias that failed to appear this year.

And that is all from today’s walk through the garden.

~ Susanne

A Fruitful Summer Day in the Garden

Endless sunny days and so far I have worked very little in the garden.  Things grow and produce despite my neglect, but still it’s time for some maintenance.  Even an hour or two will accomplish a lot.

First, the Strawberries

Although I’ve been harvesting them for a month I still see a few stragglers remaining.  I always imagine they are anxiously waiting for me to come pick them, afraid of being left behind.

“I’m here, ” they call out.  “Don’t forget me.  I’m juicy and red.  Look just under the leaves and you will see me.”

I did and found many more than I expected.

Next up, the weeds

Once in the garden I see more work to be done and tackle the most glaring and obvious: the tallest of the weeds to be pulled, the volunteers to be moved or disposed of, the empty spots to be filled in.  The dahlias I planted last year didn’t come up again so I pulled the weeds that had taken their place.  This opened up a spot for a zealous rose and traveling lavender, both of which had sprung up unbidden nearby.  They earned it!

The Pollinators

Some of the work is best left to others, the pollinators for instance.  The bees busily worked the lavender like those on a mission but still left something behind for the moth.

The blooming and the ripening

I wander about the garden, stopping here and there to admire the flowers

and anticipate the promise to come; the ripening of these tomatoes for instance,

and biting down on one of these apples in the fall, the first I have ever grown.

And don’t forget to pet the cat

And what’s time spent in the garden without a furry friend?  Invariably I am joined by one or the other of my two cats who follows along and begs my attention.  I always oblige. Today it was the handsome Tiger.

A cool drink and it’s time to go.

A day well spent in the garden.

~ Susanne

Soos Creek Botanical Garden

After the rain showers this week,  I visited the lovely Soos Creek Botanical Garden today.  It was a rather spontaneous decision, made while drinking my latte at the Starbucks next to the gym where I was supposedly headed next.  But the rain had stopped.  Fresh air and a walk would be better than the treadmill, wouldn’t it?  Of course it would!   And I’d only been to the Soos Creek Garden once before, even though it’s only a thirty minute drive down the road. Time for another visit.

A few volunteers were the only ones I saw as I walked through the Carlmas Long Borders promenade, the centerpiece of the garden.  The grass was still wet and the flowers fresh with raindrops from the day before.  Beautiful color exploded on each side.

Afterwards I wandered on paths through native woods, including a cedar grove and alder grove, and made my way down to the creek.

I headed back up to where I started, to the top of the expansive lawn where the Schaefer Pond Garden was peaceful and serene.

Soos Creek Botanical Garden is 22 acres of garden and woodlands, exactly the size of the Tiffany Park Woods that are currently being destroyed in my neighborhood. I guess it’s some consolation to know I can visit the lovely Botanical Garden for a safe and scenic walk in the woods.

Before leaving, I bought some plants, dropping my money in the donation box, and went home to find a place for them in my yard.

Much better than the gym I have to admit.

~  Susanne

Happy Monday from Cats and Trails and Garden Tales

Cats

After waking up all groggy and sleepy-eyed I ended up in my office with my morning coffee for a quiet time.  Tiger joined me and appreciated having the prime real estate to himself since Benji was outside.  He asked for nothing more than a little love and attention which I gladly gave.

Soon contented, he sprawled out among his toys for a morning nap without fear of  the little one’s harassment.

Trails

After I was revived Bob and I went for a morning walk at our favorite local park where all was cool yet sunny, vibrant, and clear.

Garden

After our walk, I visit the garden.  It’s early but the herbs are already cheerful and bright and loads of strawberries have set on and should ripen soon.

Cats Revisited

As I write this it’s now Benji’s turn in the office but he prefers sleeping in the chair and that puts a big smile on my face..

and his too.

Happy Monday from Cats and Trails and Garden Tales!

~  Susanne

The Faithful Ones in the Early Spring Garden

Under a light rain I venture outside to the spring garden and admire the faithful flowers blooming there. These are the ones who really do bloom where they are planted, requiring little if any assistance from me.

I planted the Clematis a few years ago to fill in a spot of chain link fence.  It has been pleased to do that and more, happily climbing overhead onto nearby evergreens, spreading color everywhere.

This Rhododendron, though completely neglected by me, blooms heartily every year in spite of it.

The Candytuft gets no special attention either,

yet fills the air with its sweetness, attracting the attention of two residence cats, Benji and Tiger, who also appreciate its scent.

Sweet Woodruff provides a nice bed for the bird bath and kitty watering hole,

while this uninvited intruder fills in where I can get nothing else to grow

providing a nice background for a portrait of the handsome Tiger.

All are happy in the spring garden.

~  Susanne

One Year with Cats and Trails and Garden Tales

Has it really been a year since I started this blog with just a few cat stories in mind, along with a lot of fear and trepidation?  Well, yes it has! And a wonderful journey it has been!  I am honestly pleased (and somewhat surprised) to have made it this far and am happy to have you along for the ride!

So on this anniversary of Cats and Trails and Garden Tales, with post number 134 (in case you were keeping track), it seemed good to reflect on where we’ve been together. First, did you ever wonder about the name?  I chose it because as the song goes,  “these are a few of my favorite things!”

Cats

It’s no secret I love them.  When I started this blog a year ago, I only had one cat in residence: the handsome Tiger, who had some things to say.  He is still talking.

Then there were two.  We brought home Benji from Seattle Humane Society as a companion for Tiger.  It turns out Benji has something to say as well.

I love watching them individually and together.  They truly enjoy their cat life.

 

Trails 

 

I love to hike (though the trails are getting shorter) and I love to travel to places both far and near.  In this part of the blog I try to convey the beauty of the Pacific Northwest where I live.
 
 
 as well as the beauty of these United States of America, and sometimes distant lands.
 

 

Garden 

 

Finally, I love gardening and I love gardens.  I love to share pictures of my own,

and  those I visit.

 

Throw in some rain, a few sunsets and other reflections on life and you’ll have a good idea of where we’ve been.

 

Yes, I am still learning.  Learning to write.  Learning photography.  Learning how to use the blogging technology.  It’s worth the effort.  So here’s to another year of Cats and Trails and Garden Tales.  Thank you so much for following along.

 

Susanne, Tiger and Benji