Today’s mail brought my new issue of Sunset Magazine, the Northwest Edition. I feel like I’ve finally arrived. Sure we have lived in Spokane for 5 weeks but, in print, it feels official. Officially, I’m still sore from all of the gardening and yard work we tackled yesterday. I couldn’t lift my arms enough to type a blog post. All 5 of us mowing, raking, hacking, sawing, blowing and planting. With yard work done, we are beginning to look like the Northwest Edition too.
We met several of our neighbors in the midst of our sweaty, dusty, dirty efforts. Our sidewalk is a direct path to Manito Park and with cooler temperatures this weekend, everyone was out and about. We met people close by and those that live further away, all neighbors one and the same. Everyone incredibly nice and thrilled to have us on the block.
I have started planning my garden, in both the front and back yards for next year. I will have at least a 300 s.f. raised bed vegetable garden, a berry patch, a dahlia garden and, well, that’s all I have planned…so far. I planted 8 lavender plants this weekend that is my official lavender farm. I may add a few more plants, but this is a good, fabulously smelling start.
The Northwest Edition of my garden is challenging. We’re in a new zone with new soil and, gasp, weather. I have to pay attention to frost dates! I have to winterize!
The Washington State University Spokane County Master Gardener Program is an excellent online and physical resource providing everything a newbie like me needs to develop a fantastic vegetable garden as well as identify native plants. Browsing through the Extension Program, I learned that I – yes me – could become a Master Gardener. The requirements are straightforward, 64 hours of class time, passing grades on quizzes and tests and a minimum of 40 hours of volunteer time. I wonder if I get a badge that reads “Beth – Master Gardener”. Ooooh! Destiny.
Patience, grasshopper. First I must build the garden and experience the successes, miseries and tragedies of gardening in the Inland Northwest. According to the Northwest Checklist in my August 2013 issue of Sunset magazine, I need to:
1. Shop for spring bulbs as they are cheaper this time of year (I always love a bargain),
2. Plant Autumn Crocus, bulb to flower in 3 weeks. (Oooh! I can start now? Of course.)
There is information for those “West of the Cascades” aka Seattle, and prep, maintenance and protection projects that don’t apply to my garden yet. The checklist will be filed in my gardening folder already filled with advice and guidance, dream gardens and ideas.
Once I regain the full range of motion in my arms, I’ll get started on an autumn flower container garden for front porch color. I have nothing but time. Except for the time already allotted to family and work. My DIY furniture refinishing and upholstery projects fall next in line. You know I need my 8 hours each night too. Someway, somehow, I have all month, I will do my best to find some solace in my Northwest Edition of my yard.