Gardening where the sidewalk ends

SAGBUTT III: The Zombie’s Revenge April 24, 2009

Filed under: bloggers' gathering — greenwalks @ 6:09 pm
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A small but friendly crew gathered this past Sunday at the Good Shepherd Center in Seattle to yak about gardening, blogging, weather, weeds, seedlings and much more. Our genial hosts, Curmudgeon and Wingnut of Weed Whackin’ Wenches, brought homemade rhubarb bars from their freshly harvested fruit and provided us with a perfect space to meet and a very relevant view out the window of  Seattle Tilth’s leaf mulch bins. They have already got a lot of stuff going in their potager (they can use that word without sounding sniffy because Curmudgeon speaks fluent French), some under cloches that are keeping the cool nights and critters at bay.

We welcomed a new member, Devon, who is a fairly recent transplant to Seattle but seems to have already put her garden into high food-production gear. She is thinking of starting a blog to document her progress – I hope she does, as I’d love to hear more about her huge variety of edibles from loads of peas to plums, hardy kiwis, cherries, peaches and blueberries.

Paula from Petunia’s Garden spoke of all her happy little seed starts and brought more pumpkin seeds to share, including mine that I’d forgotten at the previous meeting. Thanks, Paula! I’m sure she will have a great time this summer when all of her broccoli, tomatoes, brussels sprouts, lettuces and other wonders are ready to harvest.

Another new member – Dakota. I completely forgot to take pictures during the meeting, so if you want to see what she looks like, you can click here. She was the quietest one of the bunch and didn’t seem to want to share her seed-starting or other garden secrets, although she is reputed to be perfectly well-behaved in the garden and also keeps it squirrel-free. I sincerely hope she recovers soon from her painful leg problem!

Every time I go to one of these get-togethers, I learn so much and also enjoy absorbing terms I’ve never heard before. This time around, it was new to me that carrot rust fly supposedly can’t fly higher than a foot off the ground, so planting carrots in tall containers might keep them pest-free. I also heard about a new potting soil that I want to try from Gardner & Bloome called Blue Ribbon. New terms: Bush Hog (turns out it’s a brand, Paula’s husband’s friend bought some kind of ground cutter off of Craigslist, super macho power mower deal), mountain beavers (large rodents who are actually not beavers at all, see this Seattle Times article for more info, they sound a little scary), and “zombie rhododendrons” (rhodie plants that are hacked down but sprout back unkillably from the stump – the inspiration for this post’s title).

It was a little hard to take that the sun was shining and it was perfect gardening weather while we were indoors, just talking about gardening… luckily, most people had time for a walk in the surrounding gardens after our mini plant swap (I brought inexpertly potted sarcococca and Devon came with a wayward strawberry and some happy little sedums which she’d pulled out of a crack in the rockery. I got to claim two of the latter, although I have yet to plant them – here’s what they look like.)

Two Little Sedums

After the meeting, I went off to meet my family in the park but as we were leaving we bumped into the Wenches, who were still enjoying the Tilth gardens and soaking up some sun and photographing bees. I didn’t have a lot of time to stay and look at plants, but took a few quick snaps on the way to the car. I have a giant batch of Tilth photos from earlier in the spring, but I can’t find them at the moment. Maybe next winter, when I have nothing to do in the garden, I’ll happen upon them and put up another post.

Brush pile in a cage construction, beautiful detrius:

Layered Brush Pile Cage

Mauve-flowering akebia, ready to take over the universe:

Purple-Flowering Akebia Vine

Colorful coffee bean sacks like the ones Paula brought us in February, used as a weed barrier:

Coffee Bean Sack Weed Barrier

Fruit tree trained into sculptural form:

Sculptural Fruit Tree

Our next meeting is slated for Sunday, May 17 and we need someone to step up to plan and host. I’d volunteer, but am putting on a crazy princess birthday tea party for my daughter the day before and one gathering per weekend is about my max as far as planning goes! Is anyone up for it? Or should we try for June and just spend that day in our gardens?


13 Responses to “SAGBUTT III: The Zombie’s Revenge”

  1. Katie Says:

    I love the detritus fence! I read about someone in Seattle doing that…I wonder if this was the same yard? Very cool.

  2. Grace Says:

    Nice sedums. Sounds like you all had fun again.

  3. Catherine Says:

    The first time I read through I thought Dakota was a person you were referring to 🙂 It sounds like you had a nice time, I wish I could’ve gone.
    I’ll check the calender and see how May is looking.

  4. RainGardener Says:

    Late again – I was outside weeding all day yesterday.
    Sounds like a great time at your meeting. So you have them during the day. I know you had a guest once – maybe I could drive up for that if no one minded and meet all of you. I’ll come prepared with goodies from my garden (bribe). LOL
    The sedum on the left I have and not sure what it is. Love the fruit tree with the neat shape! Oh that Akebia is pretty!
    Glad ya had a good time!

  5. Daniel Mount Says:

    Karen you inspired me to make a detritus fence, or at least inspired me into getting Michael to agree to making a detritus fence. I love how your curiosity about everything comes out in your blog. I feel like I’m walking with a fascinated child through the gardening world.It helps refresh my jaded “old” gardener’s soul. If Sagbutt wants to visit the farm . July or August would be better, when the flower fields are full and the vegetables abundant. We’ve actually cleared blackberry this year and made new beds, That’s what I need in my life, more beds. Actually one big bed to take a nap in would be great. I’ll try to make a sagbutt meeting soon. Busy times right now.

  6. Jen Says:

    That fruit tree is just beautiful – lots of great ideas here. I think we need a SAGBUTT chapter in NY!

  7. Matron Says:

    Just sounds wonderful! I am thinking of arranging something similar here in London – I’ve been inspired!

  8. Melanthia Says:

    I’m so bummed I missed the third gathering! We left for Kauai that day so there was no making it work. I’m glad you had a good time.

  9. Kanak Says:

    Karen, what a fun time you all had! Always love to read about these meetings. Great idea of using those bags for weed control. The fruit tree is so pretty. I hope your plants do well–they look healthy. Eagerly looking forward to reading about the next meet!

  10. shibaguyz Says:

    We are putting in those compost fences at our community garden this year. We’re actually using it to fix a hole in the fence and provide us more room for composting. It really is a great idea if you’ve never tried it before.

    I can’t believe you all planned it for May 17th. Are we destined to NEVER get to come to one of these?? LOL We are having our neighborhood Thanksgiving that day. We started it two years ago figuring we all had plenty to be thankful for more than once a year. It is that day!

    Oh well… we’ll for sure host one once the garden gets going and we can actually have everyone walk around without tripping over pots and starter trays. Lordy… don’t know how we’re ever going to get all that cleaned up…

  11. Georgia Says:

    Going to an Oakland/East Bay blogger party later this week!

  12. Chloe M. Says:

    I absolutely love the picture of Akebia. And Dakota looks like a great addition to any garden!

    Chloe M.

  13. donnie1967 Says:

    COFFEE BAGS as weed barrier! Of COURSE what a brilliant idea!
    [bows humbly to the most excellent fellow-Seattle gardener]

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