Gardening 365 – Days 111,110,109,108,107 & Dear Friends and Gardeners all

Hey out there in Garden Land! Looks like spring may actually decide to make an appearance in Boise, after all! ‘Bout damn time is all I have to say.

I am playing catch up w/y’all today. I was traveling since Saturday, I took a few vacay days to make a foray up to northern Idaho, the ever so humble yet breathtakingly beautiful Motherland of moi.

Friday, Day 107, I planted more greens and salad stuff: Amsterdam Seasoning celery (from Renee’s Seeds), Red Sails lettuce and more spicy salad blend.

Saturday ,Day 108, first day of the road trip, was all about wildflower and landscape observation and note-taking. We headed north, admiring the progress of blooms from 43 degrees north to above 45 degrees north. Above New Meadows a highway sign declares “45th parallel” – Halfway between the equator and the North Pole.” High low, high low, high so goes the drive to the northern Camas Prairie of Idaho and Grangeville. Great scenery and we caught the tail end of the jet boat races above Riggins. YeeHaw! New calves were everywhere. White blossomed wild pie cherry trees were in full bloom as were the wild plums. Note to self, remember the mile markers for those wild plums. Wild plum jam and liquor is on the agenda.

Sunday,Day 109, was the wildflower expedition on the hillsides above Orofino and Peck. Steep as a cow’s face, the mountainsides were warming up with showy wildflowers: the Balsamorhiza sagittata (Pursh) Nutt. (or arrowleaf balsamroot) gave the annual thumbs up “the range is ready.” My interpretation of this: “the cows are coming to dinner.” Balsamorhiza sagittata is the very first botanical latin I learned, and learn it I did from my charming and knowledgeable father in law, the late great forest ranger, Bob Newcomer. On the shady sides of the road cuts we found glacier lilies galore, two Indian paintbrush and a few wild larkspur.

Monday,Day 110, and my day to return to the high desert that is home, Boise. The ghastly funk cloud that hangs over the city is the first thing you notice when re-entering the valley. But it was warm and toasty and the ornamental pears and plums were responding to the first real heat of the season. The afternoon topped out at 82.

For my Friends and Gardeners, Dee and Carol, here’s my 2 cents of a report:

Finally, oh finally! My baby bok choi and mustard greens are making a show. The boks are big enough to eat as salad greens, the little “heads” haven’t come into their own yet. One big flower pot is FULL of baby arugula. At $5 a bag at the grocery store, if I harvest this carefully I can get about $15-$20 worth of arugula out of this over the next month or so. Not bad for the investment in a $2.29 seed packet. The onion seedlings are up too, but they need another week or two before harvesting. I can sow another couple dozen sets to keep the harvest coming. And that fellow veg gardeners, is the extent of my veg garden so far this season.

Tuesday, Day 111, I am back in the saddle. Working on garden projects, watered the salad greens, admired the tulips and sea thrift, noticed the fat blossoms on my apple espalier and counted as a loss, my 11 year old Royal Sunset climbing rose. I have no real idea what did it in, although rumor has it our unseasonably warm fall, way into November, came to an abrupt ending with a hard hard frost. Many plants had not gone dormant and suffered dramatically. Apparently I lost a newly planted purple smoke bush and a new red currant bush. Oh well. C’est la vie. That’s the way it grows sometimes.

I will endeavor to keep up with my 365 days from here on out.