Gardening Update: Squash, Catnip, and some Really Sad News

I’m not going to lie friends, I had a good cry this morning.

I grabbed a step stool so I could take an updated picture of the birds’ nest I discovered in my hanging fuchsia basket last week only to discover an empty nest with a teeny tiny dead baby bird next to it. I think you can understand why there is no picture here – it was upsetting enough for me to find, no reason to upset the internet with a photo. A little bit later, I discovered the second dead bird on the porch. I’m honestly not sure what happened, but I suspect a crow might have gotten into the nest as there are quite a few fuchsia leaves scattered around. I am so unbelievably sad, especially given the dubious outcome of our baby bunnies from a couple weeks ago.

Sorry that this isn’t a very happy way to start my garden update, but I wanted to share why I’m sitting here in a bit of a funk this morning. I guess you could say this is one of those things that happens in nature, but it’s still very sad and even sadder when it happens on your own property.

DSCN7609 (600x800)There have been some happier developments in the garden, thankfully. The peas always surprise me when they emerge. I don’t know why this should come as a surprise – every year they come shortly after the flowers, right?

DSCN7611 (600x800)I wasn’t too fond of finding this collection of aphids on my peas, though!

DSCN7613 (800x600) (2)This might be a really stupid experiment, but we’ll see what happens. This would be a cantaloupe. Yes, I’m trying to grow melons in Western Washington. Kind of silly given my pea-sized watermelon experiment of ’10. I’ve been growing this under a milk jug to create a bit of a greenhouse. It’s since outgrown that space… so I may have to construct something bigger to get this thing hot, hot, hot.

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This bed is starting to explode! What I have is french sorrel in the front, a bunch of loose leaf lettuce, some volunteer parsley, corn salad (I think? I forget) and nasturtium. I read you can eat the nasturtium leaves so I threw a couple in my salad the other day. Blech! No thanks.

DSCN7616 (600x800)My first ripening raspberry! I can’t wait. We so look forward to these every summer. We’ve been enjoying strawberries for the past week or better, too.

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One of my gooseberry plants seems to have gotten a fungus or mildew of some sort! Soooo disappointing. I removed the rotting berries and chopped down the mildewy stems. Any other ideas of what I can do organically to help my plant?

DSCN7617 (800x600)This is one of my happier updates today. (Goodness knows I need something happy!) This is catnip, which I purchased at the Seattle Tilth plant sale a month ago. I put it in the ground and it promptly started to turn brownish-red. It was NOT a happy plant being there. So I dug it up, cut it wayyyy back, put it in a pot, and gave it some Boogie Brew. I swear it’s doubled or even tripled in size since then!

I wanted to try and divide it into a couple plants today but the roots are super intertwined. At the very least, I may move it into a larger pot so it has room to grow.

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Here is a current view of the chamomile I have drying out in the greenhouse. Make sure to read my post on making your own chamomile tea if you haven’t seen it already.

DSCN7363 (600x800)My son finally got the seaberry (sea buckthorn) plants he’s been begging for! He did so well in the school spelling bee this year, I told him he could pick something out. I was surprised (and pleased!) he chose these over the new Mario Kart game. In case you don’t know, seaberries are considered a super food and are sometimes used in high-end skin care products. They have a crazy amount of vitamin C – about 7 times the amount of lemons! And of course, you need a male AND female to produce fruit so my little smarty ended up with 2 plants instead of just 1!

DSCN7620 (800x600)We have gotten a bit of a later start on some of our plants this year, like these zucchini. But I fully anticipate we’ll have some in time this summer.

DSCN7621 (800x600)This is my daughter’s Fairy Tale pumpkin plant. It seems to be doing quite well, and I even noticed a few blossoms!

DSCN7623 (800x600)We have a few blueberries ripening too!

There are a few other developments, but I figure I surely don’t have to update you on EVERY single plant in my garden! Thanks for letting me keep it a bit real today on my sad discovery, as well as some of the better things happening in my garden.

I’d love to hear what’s growing in your garden right now, too! Please leave a comment. 



  1. bethany says

    Nature can be cruel, it is hard to see close up. I think sometimes our modern live shelter us from reality.
    Our tomatoes are taking off and the carrots and lettuce are growing well. I planted hop vines because I like the way they look and they are doing good too.

  2. bethany says

    Another thing I was thinking about my tinkering at gardening is I am so glad that I didn’t live 150 years ago. At that time I would be counting on my gardening ability to keep my family stocked with food for the winter. That would be rough.

  3. Caro says

    Enjoy your gardening stories, even the sad news. My one zucchini has lots of male blossoms, but I may have to pollinate by hand because I haven’t seen many bees. The blueberries are doing good, though. My poor raspberries got a double whammy about 3 years ago: hubby put Preen around them and then the next year, I put the wrong kind of sawdust down. They are slowly, very slowly recovering.

  4. mari says

    I read you can eat the nasturtium leaves-I know you can eat the flowers, I’ve never heard that about the leaves though

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