Facilities Manager's Summer Report

 Happy August! Whoa, Summer is here with a capital S. Nice and warm, but not as hot as the last two summers. In fact, we hesitate to tell friends and family in other parts of the world. We don't wish to sound all "braggy" and such. 

Oh, but we have been busy. The cats and I are busy napping in the afternoons. Mornings, though? On the move. Watering stuff. Projects. Mowing. The usual. What follows is a report on what is going on our property. Am happy to say: All is well and green and just chickee. (Tamara here: What the corn does chickee mean? And while yes, you're busy in the early morning, I happily take the afternoon shift...it takes a village, after all.)
Our black beans are the pride of the veggie garden. While the broccoli, cabbages and onions are fine and healthy, we are excited about our three rows of black beans. The beans are forming now, and we will let them dry and then collect them in the coming weeks. Home-grown black beans? Superb. We got them from Experimental Farm Network although we don't see them listed on their website any longer. (Tamara here - I think I'll do a post on the veggie garden soon. It's been much better this year and we've timed things a little differently...more to come.)

Sunflowers abound in our gardens. I love this one. So beautiful. 

The new potato box looks kind of scraggly, but I will fix that next summer. Despite its rumpled appearances the little gold and purple potatoes are perfect. No peeling these little guys. Also, please note in the background our single beehive. The honeybees are super busy right now. Landing with overweight loads of pollen on their legs. The FAA and TSA would scream and stomp if they knew.

I am surrounded by beauty at every turn.

The apples -- these are Honey Crisps -- are abundant. And we have some nice-looking pears. My mouth waters with the thought of soon some morning enjoying a cool new Honey Crisp for breakfast. 

The new raspberry plants are joining the fun. While the quantity is small, the flavors are wonderful. I pick these berries along with the nearby blueberries and we are golden for two or three days. Shhh, don't tell the birds. We thank our friends Ray & Kat as well as Jackie for the two different kinds of raspberries to fill our new raised beds with very yummy berries.

Again, lovely stuff. (Rosa 'Golden Wings')

We've had a great many visitors this season. Many ask about Oscar the agave. He is recovered and thriving on his new mound-side home. Careful, don't fall atop our good friend Oscar. 

Hydrangeas demand water and more water but look at the result.

Tamara works hard on her moss-covered pathways in the Shade Garden. A mighty fine green carpet if you ask me. 

Meet "Gina" our long-leafed rhododendron. Our good friend Gina, who lives in the Columbia River Gorge, presented this to us, and it has responded wholesale. Gonna be something some day. (Rhododendron sinogrande)

Our stump cairn. We had an empty spot. We had logs. We got creative. We had a HUGE Lobelia tupa in this spot, and while it's still there it is reduced by about 80%. We found evidence of moles in the crown, so we're blaming them. It's still alive and will hopefully rebound.

Yes, we have a 2,500-gallon water cistern. Um, the sprinkler laughs at its little bitty output. But we have learned to just settle the sprinkler head at the base of plants and set a timer. Seems to work well. I think we'll need that 25,000-gallon tank for more pressure!

I added a porch to the east end of the chicken house. The hens walked too much last fall and winter on soggy, dirty straw so I wanted to provide at least a cleaner place to walk along. I will probably move their feeder -- lower right -- to the porch in November or so. 

A lizard found in the Berm Garden. We do love the lizards and salamanders.

And the butterflies are abundant. I saw a couple of grasshoppers, too.

And little green frogs. They like to live under our deck cushions, so we have to look first before we sit down.

Annie naps in the sunshine. One can lose one's fingers in the middle of all that goodness.

Hobbes turned 18 recently. He is our king and love-bug. 

We lost our dear friend Frida a year ago. This is the monument to her in our chicken yard. I am glad to say that the Speckled Sussex hens that we brought in to honor dear Frida are just as silly, always in the way, and fun to have around as was she. We miss her, but we find solace in our new "Fridas."

Meet three of the five new hens. Brought in some Golden Lace Wyandottes. They are very friendly and like to sleep in a mound we call the "Unihen."

The WhyNots love themselves some meal worms. They will be a great addition to our flock. We are thrilled to have the young ones with us.

Well, that's it for FM today. Thanks for reading. If you want to find me I am likely napping with Annie or Hobbes or out chasing chickens or the new hens. (Tamara here - while your summer projects are fewer this year, I can vouch for you that you definitely put in a lot of time around here, even with the Perry Mason reruns and your mid-day stories...hee hee!)

That's a wrap for this week at Chickadee Gardens. As always thank you so much for reading and commenting, we love hearing from you! 

And thank you, FM, from your wife for taking over blogging duties for the week. I appreciate the vacation! And thank you for all you do around here. Clearly, a lot.


  1. Okay, this blog duet is reminding me of the dynamics between such couples as Johnny Cash/June Carter -- love it! Also, so great to hear the bounce back in your voices over a somewhat kinder summer. Oscar looks strong too, which tempts me to try a parryi somewhere too, planted on an angle of course.

    1. FM here: Thanks, Denise. We fell into a burning ring of fire! And it burns burns burns, our ring of chickens, our ring of hens!

  2. Looking good as always! That Calendula in photo #4 is the prettiest I've ever seen. You both work very hard. I only work the morning shift myself at the moment - and that ends at 10am.

    1. FM here: Thanks, Kris. I am a 6 to 10 am workerbee myself. I am supposed to stay out of the sun, and I try. Thanks for the comment. I always look forward to your comments. Cheers.

  3. Anonymous7:02 AM PDT

    Napping with your cats sounds like heaven to me! I'd neglect gardening duties for kitty-time so probably a good thing I don't have a cat...
    Like Kris, I love the calendula in #4: which variety is it?
    The moss 'carpet' looks pristine; excellent job keeping it green in August. A good place to hide from the sun after 10 am.
    The menagerie of wild life in your garden is so varied; the chickens are darn lucky: if their dream home wasn't enough, they now have a porch too.

    1. FM here: Ah, kittynap-time. A wonderful moment. As to the calendula, frankly we think it is the result of several varieties having an orgy among the vegetables! We had white varieties. We had orange. We had red. And we had purple. Now we have a multi-cultural mess, and we love it. Of course, I may be way off on my suspicions, but it is beautiful. Thanks for asking.

  4. Yes -- do check those cushions for frogs before sitting! We had an awful smell in my study in our house in Kigali, Rwanda (round about 1987) and it was weeks before we discovered a completely flattened and quite dessicated large gecko under the chair cushion...

    1. FM here: Thanks for the chuckle. Reminds me of horse turds we placed under the front seat of our (terrible) boss's car the night before he drove from Colorado to Atlanta. I still wonder how that worked out. Heehee. Oh, but 1982 was a mean year! Cheers!

  5. Love this time of year when you can walk around the garden and snack. Hope those Honeycrisps taste as good as they look. You have the complete homestead: veggies, fruit, eggs and honey. Have to be thankful for all that abundance and reward for the hard work you both put in.

    1. FM here: Thank you, Elaine. We opened the beehive last week with the help of our friend Ray and although the hive is extremely busy and really mellow (the bees, I mean) there is just not enough honey in there for us. I believe my hard-workers deserve all of it. Cheers.

  6. You've captured the essence of summer perfectly. Great color on that sunflower and the Calendula petals echo the feather pattern on your new hens. It's nice to see Annie and Hobbes - the contentment of a good life. We;ve got a new kitten in the house, which has made it very difficult to sit still and compose this as I keep having to run off and redirect his boundless energy to more appropriate avenues... Thanks for sharing!

  7. You have a new kitten?! Whoa! Fabulous! What's his name? Congratulations!


Post a Comment

Thank you for your comments! I love hearing them, I will approve comments as soon as I can. Yay!

Popular Posts