Monday, May 17, 2010

A Silverton Weekend

Hello, hello everyone!! I know, I've been remiss, but I've got lots of new stuff to share!
This weekend was a particularly nice one in Silverton; sunny weather does much to improve one's outlook on life! I was up early on Saturday, mopped the floor, tidied the house, then took a lovely walk to the Silverton Farmer's Market.
I got more strawberry starts (supposedly fall-bearing) and some tomato starts for Alexandra and Mataniu. It was a great day to be out and about, munching on a blueberry scone bought at one of the stands.

Just as I had finished my shopping, the annual Silverton Pet Day Parade started! There were goats, chickens, rabbits, kittens, horses, sheep, and hundred of dogs, all showing off during the parade. Everyone in the crowd seemed to know at least one person/pet team in the parade and there was lots of waving and candy-throwing!

Sunday was another early morning as I got ready to cook breakfast for Alexandra and Mataniu. I used up a lot of eggs (yay!) as well as bacon and toast with my home-made jam. Then, we were off to the Oregon Gardens! I wanted to see the irises blooming and ended up getting lots of ideas for my front and back gardens. Because I have so much fence line in my backyard, I have lots of opportunity for vines! I saw several things I could try and was hoping some of my more loyal readers could way in on their favorites...
First, here is what I envision for the front yard. An espalier fence with apples and pears. I really like the way they have this layed out, because it's not too high and would be easy to maintain and pick once the fruit was ready. There isn't that much material cost, either. A few pressure-treated posts, some heavy galvanized wire, fasteners, copper tops, a box of u-staples and I'd be set! My only dilemma now is what varieties of apples and pears I want. I would love to find trees that have several varieties grafted on, but we'll see...

Next, I saw several great ideas for vine supports. I just can't decide which one I like best.
Support #1:
I like this one because the materials used to build it are pretty and functional. Also, they built it in such a way that it's curved, which would be great as a natural wall around a paved area I want to build in the back. This would be perfect for snap peas, or flowering vines.

Support #2:
Mostly I like this because it looks cheap and easy to build. It's probably only really good for berries or grapes and it's not quite as pretty as some of the other alternatives.

Support #3:
This one I really liked because it seemed very sturdy and effective for plants like snap peas or beans. Clematis would also like it because of the close gauge of the wire. Plus, I already have fencing like this left over from other projects, which would keep the initial cost down...

Also, with this structure, it's easy to attach netting to cover the new growth, deterring any hungry deer that might be silly enough to come into town.

Support #4:
Lastly, I like this support for many of the same reasons I liked #1. It's pretty and would add a nice texture to the backyard. It would take a lot more materials and time to put up, but perhaps it would be worth it as a focal point in the garden?

This was a pic I sent to Mom- everyone knows how much she likes artichokes!

This greenhouse is just like what I want someday, tucked in by the chicken coop...

After a very envigorating walk through the gardens, we rested in the shade...until mosquitos found us...

Here are the chicks I got in February, almost fully grown! I cleaned out they're cage which riled them up into a frenzy.

And after a morning filled with excitement, I plied yarn and made dinner for myself: Jan's lamb from last summer, asparagus that Jan gave me from the Beavercreek farmer's market, and fingerling potatoes Mom left in my fridge before she left. I didn't have to buy one thing!

Then, just to top the day off, I made a batch of chocolate chip cookies and ate them while cuddling a very persistent cat :-)