The good thing about today was that the garden schedule was all scheduled; I spent most of my garden time in gardens elsewhere, at the Art&Flowers Garden Tour sponsored by the Phoenix Art Museum League. (Some of my own handiwork was even on display, below)
(xeriscape oasis nestled under a palo verde tree)
(a spectacle of columnar cactuses on display)
One of my favorite features on the tour was this eclectic garden with recycled metal works, an edible garden space, a huge rooster sculpture, and some very shy chickens.
(welcome to Cluckingham Palace!)
The tour showed off some cool houses and amazing gardens. It was nice to meet the homeowners and get some back story on the evolution of each garden. I also ran into my ol' pal Thomas Park of Xerophytic Design who created an amazing space for one happy resident of the Willo Historic Neighborhood.
(Thomas showing off his genius use of materials)
It was an enjoyable day, even with the almost 100* degree heat. Meanwhile, back at the ranch...
(frontyard bed brimming with goodies!)
All inspired from the garden tour, I had to get outside (after a large iced beverage) and do some stuff. Most pressing was the need to 'bump-up' my tomato seedlings to full grown plant status. In the plastic container below (a re-purposed lettuce tub) were 16 little guys waiting to exhale!
(time for some elbow room)
It was a delicate process seperating some of them completely bare-root (don't worry, they will survive). Tomatoes are great because they are such durable plants. I also had a batch of tomatillos as well. They will live in 1gal cans for a couple of weeks as I find new homes for them all.
My final effort of the day was harvesting seeds. Lots and lots of seeds. Pak choi, kale, spicy mustard, red romaine, arugula, broccolini, and cauliflower. Best way I've found for collecting seeds is using paper bags. Let the seed pods on the plant get as large as possible to where you see the bumpy texture of the seed inside. Cut the stems off the plant, fold them in half, and stuff them into the bag. The pods will dry and pop open releasing the seeds.
I label the bag with the plant name (pak choi), date harvested (2011APR02), and the source from where I originally acquired the plant or seeds (a Seattle gardener). These will store in a dry cool place until after summer (about 6months).
(bok choi - bag it and tag it)
Lastly, I took some time to observe; 2 butterflies, 1 nosy carpenter bee, 1 male hummingbird, 3 (now dead) mosquitoes, and 1 surprising new bloom...
(here come the hollyhocks - finally!)