Thursday, May 13, 2010

Gardening With Jake

Jake called us last week to ask for advice and tools to tackle this old lilac which used to bloom profusely, but now was just looking sad.
Jake lives in Wallingford, an urban village north of downtown Seattle, an area filled with family bungalows built early in the last century. He has an apartment in part of an old house that was probably the living quarters of an old store front, perhaps a corner grocery.
I mentioned in the tribute to my mother that she had passed on a love for the land and growing things. We never made our kids participate in our gardening chores when they were growing up, but gradually they have both taken to growing things too.
So this morning we headed in to lend a hand, and a ladder, and loppers and pruning saw. This may not be what Jake had in mind, but the result is a bit of the former lilac, with three new starts staked and now able to get the light, and a pile if debris. Jake will borrow a friend's truck to haul off the pile.
While the guys were doing the pruning, I checked out everything else. His raspberry patch, started from plants from our garden, was looking good.
We recycled old nursery pots for his use as a vegetable garden, this one holding salad mix.
Jake has an elaborate system of capturing rain run off in rain barrels.
Last year he asked for help deciding what plants would grow along the foundation. It's a hot, dry spot, but in the second year at least most of it is still alive. I weeded it for him today.
Strawberry plants, also from our garden, are planted in the parking strip, along with a few pea vines.
It makes me feel good that Jake is getting earth on his hands and enjoying the company of growing things.


  1. That's great. Good for Jake. Bob is driving our van over to Rodger's in the morning for them to go buy lumber for some raised beds in Rodger's back yard. It is a good feeling when our kids do these kinds of things. We never had a garden but Rodger spent many hours in my parents garden. He used to sit out there under a pecan tree with my father.

  2. not pictured is the elusive Jozy who has been helping keep the yard free of rats...

  3. sounds like your son is continuing the family legacy and traditions of gardening.

  4. I love that rainbarrel collector device! He's got quite a green thumb, inherited obviously from you.

  5. Pruning, especially lilacs, is always difficult for me. I hate to cut things back, but it needs to be done. I'll be pruning our lilac, pieris, and azaleas this weekend. Ingenious way to collect rainwater!

  6. How nice that your son is following in your footsteps, with a love of the land! And it must be so nice to all work together on such projects, great family time.

  7. Well good for you and good for Jake. A nice thing to do--helping friends and neighbors and strangers too. MB

  8. Our son has taken an interest in gardening now that he has a home of his own. I'm enjoying his enthusiasm. We now have an interest in common.

  9. Jake is so lucky to have you two. His house and garden looks wonderful. I'm afraid my kids don't quite have green thumbs but then... sigh... neither do I.

    I've been wanting to get rain barrels for Hawaii but nobody sells them.


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