Pam Olsen

Welcome to my new website. It will be both fun and informative. It will have five of my favorite topics: pictures, thoughts, recipes, gardening ideas and did you know? Please enjoy, leave comments, ask questions and visit often.
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DAFFODILS AND TULIPS DON’T MIX

This is the season for early bulbs to start or maybe even finish blooming. My Tulips are just starting to bloom now, buy my Daffodils are going strong.
There is nothing better than a fresh bouquet of flowers from your garden on display in your house.
So there is a couple of things to remember about [...]

Set the picture Set the picture

More Snow !!!

Wow, what a surprise this morning, about 2 inches of snow. My tulips and crocus are okay after the snow. I guess the snow really isn’t that cold, not like a -20 winter day. Both the bulbs, leaves and blossoms can stand both snow and cold. It is unbelievable how hardy [...]

More Snow !!! More Snow !!!

Flower Surprise !!!

As I was walking out to get the mail today, I had the most pleasant surprise. The crocus’ by the sidewalk are coming out and they look terrific. Here are a few pictures of them.

This is a picture of a flower called Glory-of-the-Snow or Chionodoxa, it is in bud getting ready to bloom. It [...]

Flower Surprise !!! Flower Surprise !!!

Picture a Day

Today is my sister’s birthday !!!!!
Happy Birthday Kathy !!!!
I hope you enjoy this picture.

Picture a Day Picture a Day

Picture a Day

Do you know what time the sun comes up? I didn’t either until early one morning, I happened to see the sunrise. I knew there would be some ‘color’ but I didn’t have any idea there would be this much orange.
Next time you have a chance, get up early and enjoy a sunrise. [...]

Picture a Day Picture a Day

Picture a Day

I love frosty mornings!!!!!
Winter isn’t my favorite season. It is too cold and snowy for me. But when I have a chance to take pictures of things with frost on them I get excited.
Here are a few frosty pictures. The first one is rose leaves. I guess roses can add beauty [...]

Picture a Day Picture a Day

Bouquet a Week

This year I am going to have a very lofty goal.
I learned to love flowers from my Mother, and I think it would be great if I could have a new bouquet of flowers each week.
The thing that makes this hard is that the bouquet must be from flowers that I have grown myself. [...]

Bouquet a Week Bouquet a Week
  • PLAN YOUR 2014 GARDEN NOW

    Posted on October 2nd, 2013 Pam No comments
    Yes I said ‘plan your 2014 garden now.
    Is your garden ‘put to bed?’  Are you tired of gardening now?
    All of these statement my be true, but now is the time to begin gardening…not gardening in the ground, but gardening in your head.
    Make changes for next year, while it is still fresh on your mind.
    My dad called it ‘next year farming’ He realized the mistakes he made or took note of the things he wanted to change for the next year so the ‘next’ year would be more successful.
    So now is the time to note the changes you want to make next year….really!!!
    Sketch a rough garden map and include the changes.  Gardeners rarely plant the same garden every year, they are always making changes.
    Now is also a good time to remember which vegetables were successful and which were not.  Then you won’t make the same mistakes again and again.  Also, if certain vegetables were great producers, write them down so they can be planted again next year. Now is also a good time to take pictures, this will help with the future garden plan too.
    For example if the onions will do better if moved in the sun, plan the new space for the onions next year. If there is still 40 pints of beans on the shelf, plant less beans next year.  If you love peas and want to freeze more peas–make a note of how many more should be planted.
    Try to think of each vegetable separately, and note any changes that may be needed.
    Don’t forget to rotate your garden too.  NOTE: tomatoes, peppers and potatoes all belong to the nightshade family. Rotate them with something else, not with themselves. In other words, don’t plant tomatoes where you have planted potatoes or peppers this past year.
  • ALL I KNOW ABOUT GARLIC, ‘HOW TO PLANT AND GROW GARLIC’

    Posted on September 30th, 2013 Pam No comments
    2012-2013 was my second season growing garlic. I LOVE GROWING GARLIC, IT WAS MY FAVORITE THING TO GROW THIS YEAR.  This year I have planted over 800 garlic cloves to harvest mid July next year.  It is very easy to grow.  Here are some steps to growing garlic the easy way.
    1.  Only plant garlic purchased from a garden center or greenhouse.  NEVER plant garlic from the grocery store.  The largest garlic I have grown is called Musik, some cloves can be as large as a golf ball.
    2.  Plant mid September or early October.
    3.  Divide the bulb into the separate cloves.  Try to keep the thin paper on the cloves.
    4.  Dig a hole or furrow and water well.
    5.  Plant cloves 3″ – 4″ deep, pointed side up.
    6.  Plant about 6″- 8″ apart.  If planting several in one row stagger the cloves.
    7.  Cover with soil.
    8.  Mulch with grass clippings, leaves or potting soil,  I like potting soil the best. (I use used potting soil).
    9.  Uncover the mulch gradually in the spring. The garlic will be 6″-8″ tall.  The leaves will be tender, so uncover slowly over a few days. Uncover in the evening is also a good idea.
    10.  Water at least 1″ per week, 2″ is better.
    11.  After a few months ‘scapes ‘will grow from the center of the plant. It is best to trim these off when they are about 6″ and use them in cooking.  They are great in stir fry or chop and use in any dish requiring garlic.
    12.  The scapes are best trimmed because they rob strength from the garlic bulb.  If left on the plant they will go to seed.  Leave on a few plants if you want to save seeds.
    13.  Garlic begins to mature when the bottom leaves turn brown or dry up and the main stalk is still green.  This is around July 15th. Harvest before the entire stalk turns brown.
    14.  To harvest, use a shovel and dig the entire bulb.  Do not leave any garlic in the garden, harvest everything you plant.  Allow to dry on a rack, in the shade for one to two weeks.  Then trim the top to about two inches and trim the roots to about ½ inch.
    15.  Rub one skin layer off to clean the garlic. Keep the garlic dry. DO NOT CLEAN GARLIC WITH WATER.
    NOTE: Each garlic bulb will have 6-18 cloves, depending on the type.  Figure how much garlic you use and plant twice as much….you will love this ‘fresh’ garlic!!!!
    Did you know 90% of the garlic purchased from the grocery store is from China. Who knows how old it is.
  • GARDEN WEEK 14, PLANT TOMATOES AND PEPPERS

    Posted on May 31st, 2013 Pam No comments

    Now is the time for planting tomato and pepper seeds.  They are slow to germinate, so plant them now.  I usually plant them in a flat that has 32 compartments.  The compartments are about 2” square.  Depending on how old the seeds are, I usually plant two seeds per 2” cup.  Then thin them out to one per cup when they are about 2” tall.    Just a note about seeds, if the seeds are expensive, or if you just have a few, only plant one seed per cup.

    If they are planted now, they should be ready to transplant around May 31st.

    Only plant the seeds in a cold frame, greenhouse or inside with a grow light.

    A short note about the use of heating pads.  Heading pads are electric pads that make the flat warm, this allows the plants to germinate and grow much quicker.  Sometimes peppers and tomatoes can germinate 7-14 days faster. I have used them with great success.

    If planting tomato and pepper seeds for the first time, congratulations. You are in for a treat.  I learned so much the first time I planted seeds like this.

  • THOUGHTS TO THINK ABOUT, THE STARFISH STORY

    Posted on March 30th, 2013 Pam No comments

    One day walking along the shore, a teacher and a student came upon a beach littered with thousands of storm-tossed starfish, writhing and dying in the hot sun.  Without a word, the teacher scooped up a starfish and gently deposited it in the waves.

    Overwhelmed by the sheer multitude of the suffering creatures, the student just stood and watched as the teacher picked up another starfish, and jet another, releasing them in the healing safety of the cool green water.

    At last, the student spoke.  ”Teacher, what is the use in even trying? There are too many.  How can you make any difference?”

    The teacher lifted another starfish from the burning sand and carried it into the surf to set it free,  Then turned to the student. “I’ll bet it made a difference to that one!”

    –Author unknown

  • Week 8, 50 weeks of gardening

    Posted on March 28th, 2013 Pam 2 comments

    Onion sets can be planted now, if the ground is dry enough to be worked.  If large onions are wanted, plant them about 5-7 inches apart.  If small ‘green’ onions are wanted, plant them 2” inches apart.  I usually plant them in a row that is about 12” wide.  I plant about 3-4 across the row. This allows me to have some large onions and pick some for green onions too.  But, a note of caution, it is best to thin out the onions by harvesting the smallest ones and leave the larger ones.  This way they can keep growing so they will be bigger when harvesting in the fall.

    A quick note about garlic.  If your garlic has been mulched, it is best to uncover the mulch gradually.  They will need time to adjust to the colder temperatures and harden in.

    Roses that have been mulched should also be uncovered now.

    Raspberries and Currents can be transplanted now. Raspberries and Currents are dormant now, so this time is the best time to transplant.  They adjust to the transition more smoothly if moved early in the year.  Determine the length and width of the row, taking into consideration that the plants will usually spread.  I just transplanted some today and I planted them about 3′ apart and plan for them to spread 3′ wide.  I planted some ever-bearing raspberries.  They will continue to continue to produce if they are picked regularly.  These raspberries will start bearing the end of July and continue until it snows.  I can’t wait to see how they produce.

    Now is also a good time to transplant trees. Some greenhouses have bare root trees on sale now for a discounted price.  It is best to buy an older tree, one that is 5-7 feet tall rather than plant a young 2-3 foot tree.  An older tree is more expensive, but it will bare fruit sooner.  Sometimes up to three years sooner.

    A quick note about soil. When the ground is wet, it can be compacted and become very hard. Then it becomes too hard to plant or dig in.  ‘NEVER’ walk on soil when it is wet, unless that area is going to be a pathway.  It may be a good idea to determine pathways and always use those areas to walk on.  Stand on the paths and reach across to access the plants when weeding or planting.

    Sometimes accomplishing everything on the week specified is not convenient.  Remember, these are just MY SUGGESTIONS, adjust if necessary, plant earlier or later, according to different areas of the country and of course, YOUR SCHEDULE.

    Jan. 4th Week 1 Order gardening catalogs
    Jan. 11th Week 2 Check out Books & Magazines from Library
    Jan. 18th Week 3 Family survey
    Jan. 25th Week 4 Garden Journal, study gardening books
    Feb. 1st Week 5 Seed inventory, test seeds
    Feb. 8th Week 6 Make a garden plan
    Feb. 15th Week 7 How much to plant
    Feb. 22nd Week 8 Buy seeds
    Mar. 1st Week 9 Plant onion seeds and artichokes
    Mar. 8th Week 10 Trim Raspberries and apply Caseron
    Mar. 15th Week 11 Plant broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage seeds
    Mar. 22nd Week 12 Plant flower seeds & herbs
    Mar. 29th Week 13 Plant onion sets, plant raspberry starts
    Apr. 5th Week 14 Plant tomato, pepper seeds
    Apr. 12th Week 15 Transplant broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage if ready
    Apr. 19th Week 16 Plant salad greens, radishes, cress, peas
    Apr. 26th Week 17 Plant melons  & cucumber seeds for transplanting later
    May 3rd Week 18 FERTILIZE when planting melons, cucumbers, squash, pumpkin seeds in garden
  • THOUGHTS TO THINK ABOUT, RALPH WALDO EMERSON

    Posted on March 23rd, 2013 Pam No comments

    Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire. It is a grand passion. It seizes a person whole and once it has done so, he will have to accept that his life will be radically changed.
    –Ralph Waldo Emerson

    I love spring anywhere, but if I could chose, I would always greet it in a garden.
    –Ruth Stout

    If a man does his best, what else is there?
    –General George S. Patton  1885-1945

    You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.
    –Ayn Rand  1905-1982



  • GARDEN WEEK 12, PLANT FLOWER AND HERB SEEDS

    Posted on March 22nd, 2013 Pam No comments

    Typically, flower and herb seeds are very slow germinating and growing. So it is a good idea to plant as early as possible.  Especially when planting in the house with a grow-light, in a cold frame or greenhouse. It is best to plant seeds as early in the season as possible, but keep in mind frost dates and if the plant likes cold or hot weather.

    Most flowers and herbs cannot be transplanted in the garden until the ground is warm.  In my area this isn’t until the end of May.  But, if planted now, with some protection, they will be ready for trans-planting the end of May, instead of just planting seeds.
    The earlier the flowers can be planted, the sooner their blossoms can be enjoyed. The earlier the herbs can be planted the sooner they can begin to be harvested. But keep in mind that some flowers and herbs do not like to be transplanted, so read the labels carefully and plant accordingly.

    The biggest advantage of planting your own seed is the variety of choices you have.  When purchasing transplants from retail stores, selection may be limited.   But, when planting from seed different plants can be tried.  For example purple cauliflower, purple artichokes, white cucumbers…the list is endless.  Planting and experimenting with different plants is always fun for me.

    Jan. 4th Week 1 Order gardening catalogs
    Jan. 11th Week 2 Check out Books & Magazines from Library
    Jan. 18th Week 3 Family survey
    Jan. 25th Week 4 Garden Journal, study gardening books
    Feb. 1st Week 5 Seed inventory, test seeds
    Feb. 8th Week 6 Make a garden plan
    Feb. 15th Week 7 How much to plant
    Feb. 22nd Week 8 Buy seeds
    Mar. 1st Week 9 Plant onion seeds and artichokes
    Mar. 8th Week 10 Trim Raspberries and apply Caseron
    Mar. 15th Week 11 Plant broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage seeds
    Mar. 22nd Week 12 Plant flower seeds & herbs
    Mar. 29th Week 13 Plant onion sets, plant raspberry starts, plant trees
    Apr. 5th Week 14 Plant tomato, pepper seeds
    Apr. 12th Week 15 Transplant broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage if ready
    Apr. 19th Week 16 Plant salad greens, radishes, cress, peas
    Apr. 26th Week 17 Plant melons  & cucumber seeds for transplanting later