22 January 2018


Hamamelis japonica arborea
blooming on Shaw Island
anno twenty January 2018.

Anyone who thinks gardening
begins in the spring and ends in the fall
 is missing the best part of the whole year;
for gardening begins in January 
with the dream!

Josephine Nuese

07 January 2018

🌿 WINTER SOWING TRICK for Summer 2018 🌿

Fresh seeds wrapped in handmade packets for the new year.
For an early seed sowing trick listed below, there are some
packets of seeds kept dry inside two large jars
at the Gatehouse Seed Shed, Squaw Bay Road,
Shaw Island, USDA Zone 8b. Stop by.

Listed here is a great winter-seed-sowing trick for your upcoming summer garden. With some recycled milk or water jugs to act as mini greenhouses, cozy beds can be made for seeds to germinate and harden-off at their leisure, outside! Of course, Shaw Island seeds are healthy, happy, and most agreeable. 
Here's a link here

25 December 2017


Camellia sasanqua 'Showa-No-Sakae'
A gift from island gardener Gwendolyn Yansen.

🎄 Blooming Anno Twenty-five December 2017 🎄

13 December 2017


"From December to March, there are for many of us,
three gardens––the garden outdoors, the garden of pots 
and bowls in the house, and the garden of the mind's eye."
Kathryn S. White 

Outside temperature today in zone 8-b of Shaw Island is a
wonderful 50°F but some garden pots are sneaking inside
to live on the 11-ft Douglas fir shelf in the sun, reserved for
 their winter quarters. Glassybaby "Elf" snuggles with pots of
"Christmas Cactus" (Schlumbergera) on left, a small genus
of 6 species native to Brazil. This gal is a gift from longtime
islander Mary Lou Clark who grew it many decades in
her island farmhouse after receiving it from Mrs. Holbrook;
Mrs. Holbrook left the island in the 1950s.
The plant on the right is the common "Asparagus Fern"
(Asparagus aethiopicus) native to S. Africa. She prefers to
live potbound while helping to clean the indoor winter air.

Easy going, but likes humidity of wet gravel under her pot
to enhance her complexion. 
Propagation of the latter is by
division with a handsaw or by planting the seeds in spring.

Anno thirteen December 2017.

01 December 2017


Aged Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata)
lost in the wind off Broken Point,
Shaw Island, WA.

Fallen grandfather Serviceberry or Saskatoon berry
(Amelanchier alnifolia), Midway Road, Shaw Island, WA.
This is the tree species with golden leaves lighting the
way like little sundrops along Blind Bay Rd to the landing
all the way into December, when we need them the most.
Her dried berries were used in making pemmican.
Thank you to Aho'i and Maggie for the jar of special
South Island Saskatoons jam from Cobble Hill, BC.

Yet another White fir (Abies grandis) looking healthy
on the exterior, but rotten on the interior–– the Squaw Bay Rd
culprit that beat up the transmission power lines & the
sleep schedule for many Opalco crew;
Sunday 26 Nov. 2017.

The cut log pieces are on the county road right-of-way and
free for the taking.
"The future, once we reach middle age, always seems daunting and it'll never take the course you expect it to anyway. Live for the here and now, then, if here and now seems good.
       Let all planning ahead be for your plants; a year ahead for annuals, two years ahead for biennials [such as the strong, beautiful Shaw Island Foxgloves], an indefinite number of years ahead for the trees. Never take the 'I shan't see it' attitude. By exercising a little vision you will come to realize that the tree, which has a possible future, perhaps a great one, may be more important than yourself nearing your end. So it's worth thinking more about the tree and giving it a good start in life in the right position than about yourself, except in so far it is a great delight to see the tree responding and developing under your sympathetic treatment."Christopher Lloyd, The Adventurous Gardener.
Anno one December 2017
Here comes Neil just in time to fill in some slack
with a new Sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum.)
The giant Sequoia is the world's largest living thing by volume.
The oldest known giant Sequoia, based on ring count, is
3,500 years. This tree is a very popular ornamental tree and is
successfully grown in the PNW, SE Australia, New Zealand,
central-southern Chile, west and southern Europe and
going strong on Shaw Island, San Juan archipelago.
Shaw Island has lost many large trees in the last year,

let's be planting!