Just call me Urban Farmer

Welcome to my small homestead. I have been gardening since I was a small child, helping to tend my parent’s vegetable gardens in our small suburban lot. Growing my own food has been a passion of mine through the years, and even when I lived in a condo, I grew containers of tomatoes, potatoes, herbs and fresh greens.

Jade Gardens is animal powered. The orchard and gardens are my attempt at a sustainable lifestyle, with the help of goats, chickens and rabbits. The excess eggs and produce that are not preserved or canned are shared with the local food bank. In the past I have gardened in urban areas and find the act of Suburban and Urban Homesteading to be very satisfying.


A Walk through the Gardens. . .

. . . for my mother, a walk through the August landscape.

The hairy stemmed plant is Borage, with it’s simple blue blossom,

always a favorite.

I had an entire hillside planted with it this year, and it is going to seed right now.

Salvia Patens, the clear blue is always a Summer delight.

This photo actually does not show how very blue the blossoms are.

The blossom of a mildly spicey pepper, the Hungarian Black.

The intoxicating oriental lilies, which without would be

a summerless Summer for me.

The only remaining dahlia that survived the hard freeze last Winter.

I lost the giant, pie-plate sized white ones.

The next three images are just lowly potato blossoms!

A simple white snap dragon, dressed in bridal attire.

Sunset through the broccoli seed pods, reflecting off the water,

creating a double sunset.

Dead grasses and fallen leaves, victims of a long dry summer with no rain.

Mother’s Day

Hi mom! Thought you might enjoy this particular rose. It was growing outside of your brother’s house, by the deck. Seeing as how you looked at and smelled this very rose, I thought it would be the best virtual rose I could send you! My words may be virtual, but the feelings behind them are heart felt. You have been the best mom I could have hoped for, standing by me through thick and thin, my cheerleader and sole member of my fan club. So pamper yourself today, and every other day, you deserve it.

Created a blog specifically for Art

Hopefully everyone in my family has found my newest blog that relates specifically to art, which will leave this blog to focus on family, farm, and fotography. Sorry, just could not resist!


It has been so windy the last week that getting any type of floral close-up has been impossible but I am hoping to get some decent shots today of all the Spring shoots that are basking in the almost sunny day.

Yesterday I worked for hours rebuilding paths and raking rocks out of the flower beds. The chickens were all gathered at their fence glaring at me as I undercovered worms just out of their reach. It is satisfying to be cleaning up the yard knowing that the chicken creatures will not undo it right behind me. When they scratch, it throws rocks 10 feet in every direction, so the gravel pathways are now mixed in with the dark composed soil. I do have a nice mounted screen that separates out the rocks and larger debris, but it is a slow process.

The sun is trying to warm my deck so I will go out now and appreciate its attempts on my behalf!

April Showers. . .

Yeah, yeah, whatever. I know the showers bring the flowers, but I need a few warm, dry days to enjoy! I was comparing photos from early April in 07, 08, 09 and the growth this year is definitely ahead of any other year. I’ll try to get some comparison photos this week, but here on some shots from previous years.

The hot pink leaves of the Acer palmatum ‘Geishaare stunning again this year and the tree has grown significantly since I planted it. All of the 100+ Japanese Maples need to go up one pot this year, but I may have to just do the ones that seem the most desperate. I up-potted about 30 trees and perennials so far this year that I would normally have planted in the ground but with Wells Fargo wanting to take my house, I think it best to keep as many things in planters as possible.

Old things have passed away. . .

behold, new things have come! Happy Easter and Resurrection Day!

The last image is the view from my kitchen window, well zoomed in, and across the street down towards the Hood Canal. There has been a huge pink tree blooming down there for a couple of weeks so I should walk down and see what it is. The water and Olympic mountains can almost be seen, but my neighbors spent $850,000 for a full view so I’ll be happy with the much cheaper peek that I have!

Hatchling photos. . .

As promised, here are the photos of the French Standard Feather Shanked Black Copper Marans chick pipping it’s way into the world. I finally got to watch the whole process and realized that the chick actually turns itself around inside the shell and breaks off small pieces as it circles the shell, like a can opener. Then it just pops out!

And I am the chickie’s mama! The one that hatched three days before and the new one are sitting in my lap as I type. The first one will be Carloman, or Louise depending on the gender, and the second will be Pippin the Younger, or Bertrada. I had a grandmother named Bertie, and as I child I thought her name was Birdie.

Three more dark chocolate BCMs eggs arrived today and are already in the incubator. These will add to the genetics of my little Marans flock. If I had to narrow it down to three breeds, it would be Welsummers, Australorps and BCMarans, as they are all very sweet birds.