Archive for September, 2012

8th September
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At the end of August a few friends from work and I went on a hike to Snow Lake. It was a long (8 mile) hike. The first 3 miles we fairly easy, in terms of elevation gain, but the thing that made it difficult was that we were walking over rocks for most of it. :-/ After the first 3 miles, then there is 0.5 miles of tougher elevation gain, on smaller rocks. After that, you get to the top, but that’s not where the lake is, the lake is 0.5 miles down the other side.

One of my favorite parts of this hike was how as soon as you turned the corner around some boulders at the top, there was an immediate brisk alpine breeze to meet you. The air was so fresh, I just wanted to sit there forever. But instead, we made our way to the lake, and had a little picnic there. Then we headed 4 miles back to the car. Needless to say, we were exhausted. But it was a beautiful hike, so it was worth it. :) I picked a few pictures to show here, but to see more, click here.

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1st September
written by admin

I moved to Wallingford (neighborhood in Seattle) over the summer. And with my new apartment came this huuuuuuuuuge balcony that was just screaming for some plants to make it more home-y. So I obliged.

The most amazing thing is that these plants that I bought are still alive! I was sure that they would be destroyed, but as long as I kept watering them, they were just fine! It’s amazing!

I planted various plants I’ve mostly never heard of. I just thought they looked pretty or cool or something. The main criteria was that they shouldn’t need an entire day’s worth of sunlight. My balcony faces east, so as soon as the sun goes past my the apartment building, the plants lose their direct light.

I hung 3 baskets on the railing on my balcony. In the first basket: Yellow Begonias, Japanese Sedge “Ice Dance”, Million Bells “Crackling Fire”, and Electric Lime Coleus. In the next basket: Verbena, Sweet Alyssum, Dark Blue Star Creeper, and Elijah Blue. Then in the last basket: White Bacopa, Illumination Periwinkle, Himalayan Maidenhair Fern, and Black Mondo Grass. As a note, not all the plants are visible in the baskets, at least not from the pictures I took.

Next, there are a bunch of other random plants on a table I have on the balcony. First, creeping yellow speedwell. I love the look of this plant in the terracotta pot. But I can’t figure out the light and water requirements. This is one of the few plants that didn’t survive. :( But next we have Japanese Hinoki Cypress. Then Japanese Cedar “tansu”. Also with the Japanese Cedar are some dwarf mondo grass, and a deer fern. Then in another pot, I tried a bunch of flowering plants. In the picture, you can see the Non-stop Apricot Begonia, the Regatta Marine Blue (but I think it looks purple), and Euphoric Whites in the foreground. Not shown are the Impatiens Double Fiesta Ole Frost.

Then I tried to grow some more herbs. Chives are amazingly resilient. But thyme seems to die off quickly, at least in my care. But no where near as fast as the mint chocolate (foreground of the right image). In the back, there is some basil. I decided to continue growing basil after my cooking tour in Italy. :)

I still have the jasmine I bought a year ago. It did not do too well over the winter, but I didn’t want to give up on it, and look, it’s growing again (first image)! But I bought a new one anyway. 😛 I also decided to try out vine jasmine (like they have all over Positano).

I started making jokes that I had a farm on my balcony because I started growing lots of plants that I could eat. There was lettuce, blueberries, strawberries, and tomotoes. However, the Pacific Northwest isn’t the friendliest environment for tomatoes, so I only ever got one. :(

Finally, I have the Nandina Gulf Stream that I’ve had since last year. I also decided to try out a hydrangea. I tried indoor ones, and those didn’t work out so well, but outdoors seems to be ok so far.

There were a few pictures that I didn’t post, to see them, click here.

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