30 May 2016


Peony 'Eve Shaw'
Home grown spring bouquet for TC.

Unenhanced photo from Shaw Island,
Anno thirty May two thousand and sixteen.
"Eve Shaw was a large person when I knew her. Robustly doing. A grower. A gardener. She saved things. She kept bees. She dug wells. I cannot think she would sit knitting.
      She got herself a Rec Vehicle and traveled. She took Clayton out of his armchair, away from his views of Wasp Passage, away from his recording weather devices. And when her pet died on a trip, she simply wrapped and froze the body aboard the R.V. and brought it home for proper burial on Shaw Island, the Valhalla of the San Juans.
      She once told me proudly that her family fortune was derived from a chicken business in the South––big enough to supply KFC.
      At heart she was a kind and good friend, a stingy pioneer, on whom the Great Goddess could look with envy."
Words by Leon Fonnesbeck, Shaw Island gardener, friend, and neighbor to the Shaws. April 1995.
No peony seeds for sale.

25 May 2016


Up, up, up the fence, to the top of a tree,
and over the entry path.
Five petalled beauty; Rosa "Eddie's Jewel,"

one of the largest climbing roses blooming
electric-red-turning-to-hot-pink, hybridized 
in British Columbia in 1962.
Angel's Rosa, rules this day of 25 May 2016.

Unenhanced photo from the rose enhanced 
 island of Shaw.

14 May 2016



Jack-Be-Little pumpkins
Unenhanced photo from Shaw Island.

Cucurbita pepo "Jack-Be-Little"
aka–– "JBL"

Plant 1"-2" deep in a mound 2-3 ft apart in May-June in Northern states with rich soil of compost and manure. They are big feeders.
This vine can grow on a trellis or fence or in large pots to hang down from your deck.
Place straw or cardboard under each pumpkin as they are growing. 
Keep soil moist but not wet. 
Harvest: when fruits are completely orange and the stem has dried and turned brown. Cut stem near the vine with a sharp knife. Be careful not to break the stem; never lift a pumpkin by the stem. Great for decorating color, then when you are tired of all the orange in your life––roast them! Yes, they are edible. Invited to roast in the oven with seeds removed last winter, they were sweet and delicious. A pleasant surprise.

Days to maturity: 90-100.

Yield: 8-20 fruit per plant.

For more reading on the culture of pumpkins see this site
Mini-pumpkin "Jack-Be-Little" seeds
available, while they last, at
the Gatehouse, Squaw Bay Road, Shaw Island
Spring 2017.

2. JACK TEMPLE's Gourds. 
Jack, former caretaker of the UW Preserve on island. Remember the large garden he and Bess tended? These seeds are from his crop growing along the driveway, in his Seattle garden. 
Same culture as the mini pumpkins listed above.
Gourds are used mainly for interior decoration, but they are edible.
Jack's Gourds.
Prior to seed extraction winter 2015.
The yellow one is an antique fish cork.

Thank you, Cecily T., for the handcrafted porcelain platter. 

Sold out.

06 May 2016


"If you look the right way, 
you can see the whole world is a garden." 
Frances Hodgson Burnett

Lonicera ciliosa
Happy growing along the road
next to the Gatehouse, Squaw Bay Road.
Photograph of this native courtesy of Billie K
visiting Shaw Island, WA.
May 2016.