Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Learning Garden Expansion Continues!

Spring has been absolutely splendid the first two weeks of May very warm and sunny. Everything has grown well, including the weeds! They sprang up all around the potted native trees we have left over from the plant sales.
I moved the trees and removed the weeds. 
I raked the area flat and laid down some recycled plastic. I used landscape fabric staples to keep the plastic in place. This will provide a weed barrier for the rest of the growing season. 
We need more planting beds to accommodate all the vegetable starts we are raising in the greenhouse. The easiest way to go was to try out a simple raised bed kit made out of Cedar boards. The boards are cut to dovetail together. I started by stapling down some weed  barrier cloth that still allows the water to flow through the bottom of the bed, important in these beds in the winter.
The kit slipped together nice and easy I did use a hammer a little bit. 
The second tier of slats went on and I filled it with soil.
There is plenty of work to be done in the Learning Garden please join me Wednesdays from 11:00 to Noon.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Garlic,Morels and Bonsai!

Greetings from the Learning Garden!
Now that the weather has warmed up all kinds of things are happening in The Learning Garden. For the second year in a row Morel mushrooms Morchella esculenta  are popping up in our garlic bed. There is one large and several small ones.
Beginning Bonsai!
We had our first Beginning Bonsai class! Jim Dunlop past president of the Olympia Bonsai Club did a great job of teaching us some basics about getting started with the living art which is Bonsai. We plan to have another workshop in the fall. Here is a pictorial of the process we learned.
Jim explains the art of Bonsai growing and creating miniature trees 

We used wire to attach screens over the drainage holes in the bottom of our pots.

The wire that goes from side to side is to hold the root ball of the tree solidly in place.

Jim shows us how to gently remove some of the soil from the tree roots.

Jim is a past president of the Olympia Bonsai Club.
This is a very active club with over one hundred members.

Kenzie uses her chop sticks to poke the soil and settle all the various elements into it.

Jim shows Emilie how to secure her tree this protects the roots from breaking.

We used soft wire to shape our trees and make them our own.

Six beautiful Bonsai
We want to do this again  look for another chance in the fall.