Home Gardening I’ll Take Garden Potpourri for $200, Alex

I’ll Take Garden Potpourri for $200, Alex


Rose Pink FlamingoRose Pink Flamingo shows off its flower power.

I’m a secret fan of Jeopardy. I watch intently when time allows, and blurt out the answers (yes, Alex in the form of a question) milliseconds before the contestants can pop a thumb on that big old buzzer button.  From my sofa, I’m a Jeopardy champion, although I must admit the final Jeopardy question can often leave me penniless and crestfallen. (French Philosophers of the twentieth century should never be a category.)

Anyway, I digress. It’s the end of the week and I believe this post could easily be a Jeopardy category: I’ll take Tom’s Garden Potpourri for $200, Alex. Here’s a look at what’s sprouting up this week at Tall Clover (the pretty stuff at least).rainbow chicken eggsA wonderful neighbor dropped off a dozen of her opulent rainbow eggs. Dazzled by the gradation of colors, I then proceeded to play with my food, and arrange them by color. (Seemed a much better use of my time than weeding the front beds.) Roll of Outdoor Christmas lights Now that it’s May, I thought perhaps I should roll up the Christmas lights on my branch fence. And should all go well, I may just put them away in the barn come June.  white genoa figs greenFigs are my friends, and these two babies are outcroppings from a White Genoa Fig, one I procured from Holly Park Nursery in my old Seattle neighborhood near Rainier Valley. Madame Alfred Carriere Rose SpiderFirst rose of the season, Madame Alfred Carriere has it all: a heady fragrance, thornless canes, undeniable beauty and disease resistance.  Yes, indeed, the spider (in the lower frame) has excellent taste in home sites.

fields plowed branch fence

  1. Front field mowed √
  2. Branch fence weeded √
  3. Garden rototilled √
  4. Vegetable garden planted…uh, perhaps this week.

Purple lilac large floretsI always say gardening is a process not a destination, and patience paves the way. After nine years of  TLC, this dreamy lilac finally bloomed from the cutting I planted. Its fragrance so intoxicating I was almost compelled to tether it to my nose (…well, almost). arts and crafts two seater benchSometimes, moving sales are worth further investigation. This honest two-seater is just the place to have morning coffee, noontime tea, and evening cider.

And as a man who believes you should work hard and take plenty of breaks, the hammock still holds a dear place in our hearts (speaking for Box and Gracie, of course).


  1. I’m hoping to get the garden planted next weekend. This one is for resting up–though I don’t have a hammock. That would be nice. And some dogs too. Oh, and while I’m wishing, your flowers too!
    Have a restful weekend!

  2. Hey there Tom,
    I’ve been lurking and completely enjoying your blog for months now. (We haven’t met yet, but we exchanged a few e-mails awhile back about Barn Owl on the Island.) Anyway, just wanted to tell you how wonderful your photos and posts always are. I am especially smitten with the beautiful photo of a crab spider. The species is likely Misumena vatia… just in case you want to absorb some geeky arachnid factoids in hopes of mastering that category should it ever come around on Jeopardy!)

    ~ Harsi

    • Harsi, how great to make your acquaintance, and thanks for the kind words. Now as for the spider, I’m so glad to learn more, in fact yesterday when I was checking her out, she had one of my honeybees in a death grip. Uh, looks like her camouflage works perfectly. Nature is one tough cookie. Surprising how small her hubby is though, half her size. Now should I win Jeopardy on an arachnid question, dinner’s on me!

      • Sorry to hear that one of your honey bees was on the menu, but such is the cycle of life, eh? Crab spiders are no joke… Though they don’t spin webs, their camouflage/ambush approach combined with their sheer strength allows them to catch seriously larger prey than themselves. Click the link if you want to be truly impressed:
        And, yes, as is often true with spiders, the male is a wee fraction of the female’s size.
        Hopefully, you’ll be able to return the favor and I’ll find myself kicking butt when a category like “Squash Varietals” or “Bulldog Proclivities” comes around. *GRIN*

  3. The rose is amazing…ditto the branch fence, lilacs, and bench but what I’m really jealous of is the hammock, the dogs – oh and we mustn’t forget the figs! Darn it Tom – we need a you!

        • I think that depends on the variety. When I was a kid we lived in Los Angeles and had a large fig tree. After a particularly large crop my Dad went out and pruned it down to the three main branches. My tired Mom was ecstatic, saying “He finally killed it!”. The next summer the tree had a larger crop than ever before.

    • Oh June, I think my truck could make it to the Oregon coast, that is with stops along the way for pie and seafood. (Notice the pie gets top billing.)

  4. I am going to see if we can plant lilacs here; yours made me green with envy; as for the figs, cool, got a similar growth with an apple tree. your garden is looking real good.

  5. Tom, your garden is lovely. I will have to live vicariously through your gardening blog this year. I will be too busy to do much gardening this year…I will miss it, but will sure delight at yours!

    • Hi Ina, Thanks for the nice words, I will make sure that you help me vicariously weed and mow too, okay?! I need a virtual farm intern. Take care, and again thanks saying hi and leaving that carbonara link on your post. OOOOh — weeeee, my favorite!

  6. Tom… the photos you posted here have made my day and inspire me to continue my many unfinished projects. Lucky for my husband that we do not have a place on our small city lot for a branch fence, because I would be begging for one if we did. And relaxing on that two-seater in the evening with a cider would be heaven (especially with two bulldogs nearby). Tall Clover Farm is a very special place…

    • Eileen, your words warm me on this particularly chilly rainy spring day. I may have to fashion overcoats for my tomato plants. 😉 Well should you change your mind about a branch fence, I’ll always available for free consultation, oh wait, make that available for consultation, payment in the form of a tart/pie or pastry due at closing. Warm regards on a cold Pacific NW day.

  7. I have a few yard birds as your neighbor. Its fun having the blue green and brown eggs. Chickens are very entertaining but can be hard on a garden. I love your rose. I have been looking at heirloom roses and trying to decide on a yellow climber. Teasing Georgia and Alchemyst are definite maybes. I have an old family recipe for Fig Preserve cake if you need one. It has a spice cake base like your apple/peach cake. I plan to try your peach cake recipe this summer.
    Glad the dogs love the hammock time…my one year old Great Pyrenees pup would take up the whole hammock but he would love it!
    Thanks so much for your website..I really enjoy it.

    • Hi Janet, I have Teasing Georgia rose and it’s lovely and fragrant as is Alchemsyt, but Alchemsyt is a once bloomer I’ve been told. If that’s important to you. Yes I would love your recipe for Fig Preserve Cake, that’s right up my alley of dessert love. Thanks for the visit and kind words Janet and a pat on the head to your Great Pyrenees.

  8. I’m so jealous of your figs. I’m pretty sure my fig tree didn’t make it through this winter due to the severe cold. I’m going to miss it’s fruit in August.


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