Master Gardener Foundation plant sale

At the Master Gardener foundation fundraising auction last year I was the winning bidder on a special prize: the right to shop half an hour early on the opening day of the annual plant sale. That day was yesterday. It was like being queen for a day. I showed up at the door and said cheerfully, “I’m the early shopper.” The master gardener who greeted me said politely, “I’m sorry, there’s no early shopping.” I said, “There is for one!” She lit up and said, “Oh! You’re the early shopper!” She took me on a private tour of the tables. I got to swan around and cherry-pick exactly what I wanted. I picked up a lovely little cyclamen and a maroon geranium I thought was the prettiest plant in the building. I didn’t abuse the privilege, I wasn’t greedy, and only took one of the two bleeding heart plants. I … Continue reading

Winter garden

With the Pineapple Express atmospheric river keeping the weather warm and wet, I’ve been able to establish a winter garden. My tree-shaded yard doesn’t do well with sunny fruiting plants but excels at turning out greens and brassicas. In one of my raised beds I have a broccoli plant given to me by a friend, mustard greens and winter lettuce from nursery starts, and cilantro and kale from seed I’ve saved. This year I’m hoping to produce fresh greens all winter, protected from the driving rain by a plastic cap. … Continue reading


I wrote off celery when I made the commitment to seasonal local eating, passing up the pale stringy stalks in the grocery store to make mirrepoix, the aromatic carrots-onions-celery base of many recipes, with just local carrots and onions. One September a Sequim farmer showed up to a farmer’s market with celery. I squealed gleefully, bought up his stock, and chopped and froze it for cooking all winter. The next September a Bainbridge farmer turned up with celery too. I said to myself, hey, you can grow that here? When tiny celery starts showed up at Valley Nursery the next spring I snapped them up. Since then I’ve dedicated half a bed in my garden to celery – in my shaded yard it turns out to be easy to grow, although it takes pretty much the whole growing season. Growing Celery This year I grew nasturtiums right next to the … Continue reading