What’s Blooming on April 11, 2015

More wildflowers around my home.

I got out with my camera the other day and shot some more images of what’s blooming at my place. I didn’t walk the whole 10 acres; these shots were taken between my home and my “Lookout Point” bench. Once again, I looked them up in my WA State Wildflower app; here’s what I think they are.

Lupine

Lupine
Lupine are extremely widespread here and although they’ve just started blooming at my place, I saw them at higher elevations on a hike with a friend last week. They will bloom throughout the summer, as long as there’s enough moisture in the soil to support them.

Balsam Root

Balsam Root
My three big balsam root patches are probably at maximum bloom right now. The biggest of the patches are right on Lookout Point; the other two patches are east near my new bee yard. I noticed this year that they favor southwest-facing hillsides. Because my home faces north, there are tons of these on the hills, as far as the eye can see.

Blue Mustard

Blue Mustard
There are bunches of these alongside the path to Lookout Point. I suspect they need a lot of moisture to survive and don’t expect them to last long unless we get more rain.

Phlox

Phlox
I’m not sure which kind of Phlox these are — the Wildflower app has lots of variants — but I’m pretty sure its Phlox. They’re very tiny flowers.

Prairie-Star (?)

Prairie-Star (?)
Last month, I identified this flower as Prairie-Star, but this month, I’m not so sure. It’s still blooming in tiny little bunches throughout my property.

What’s Blooming on March 16, 2015

The wildflowers have begun to bloom.

This is my first early spring living on my property — last year I house-sat locally until February month-end, then went to California for two months — and I’m glad to be able to see how the season progresses. Already I’ve seen apricot trees down on West Malaga Road in bloom; the cherry trees shouldn’t be too far behind them.

Up here at the base of the cliffs in Malaga, I’m starting to see wildflowers. I took a short walk around the two or three acres closest to my home and found four different kinds of wildflowers in bloom. I looked them up in my WA State Wildflower app; here’s what I think they are.

Prairie-Star

Prairie-Star
Very tiny white flowers. These are widespread — I saw them almost everywhere I walked.

Trumpet Bluebells

Trumpet Bluebells
According to the wildflower app, these shouldn’t be blooming until April!

Biscuitroot?

Biscuitroot?
I’m not sure about this one — and the blurry photo doesn’t help. It’s either biscuitroot or desert parsley. Either way, it shouldn’t be blooming until April.

Balsamroot

Balsamroot
Balsamroot are among the first large flowers to appear in this area. They are perennials and grow quickly. I have a bunch of them growing by my Lookout Point bench and more on the east side of my property. Only a few flowers so far; in a week or so, they’ll likely be in thick bloom.

More to Come

I’ll try to get out at least once a week to catalog what’s blooming here. It’s wonderful to see flowers so early in the season.

About the Header Images

A quick summary of where the current images were taken and who I was with.

You may not realize it, but I shot all of the photos that appear in the header on this site. There are currently more than 90 of them and they’re set up to appear randomly. Each time you visit this site or click a link to another page here, the image up top should change.

I noticed just the other day that although all images were shot within the past 10 years, the vast majority were shot when I was alone. That made me realize how much I traveled by myself, even when I was married, and how the places and things I saw were beautiful or interesting enough to capture an image of.

Anyway, here are the images, with summaries.

Alfalfa

Alfalfa

This was an alfalfa field near where I spent my summer in Quincy, WA. I think I shot this in 2008. Alone.

American Coot Family 1 & 2

American Coot Family

American Coot Family 2

I shot these two images at Quincy Lakes in Quincy, WA in 2008. Alone.

Bark

Bark

Birch Bark 2

I like photos that show texture. These close up photos of bark were shot at Quincy, WA in 2008. Alone.

Barn Roof, Wagon, and Waterville Farmland

Barn Roof

Barn Wagon

Waterville Farmland

These three images were shot on the Waterville Plateau near Douglas, WA, probably in 2009. I was with my wasband.

Basalt Cliffs

Basalt Cliff

I’m pretty sure this photo was shot while repositioning my RV from Washington to Arizona by way of Glacier National Park with my wasband — one of the last “vacations” we had together — in 2009. I think it’s at Palouse Falls.

BC Mountains Pano

BC Mountains Pano

This was shot from a cruise ship on an Alaska Cruise with my wasband in 2007. Our last day on board took us between Vancouver Island and the mainland.

BHCB

BHCB

This was shot at Quincy Lakes in 2008 or 2009. I assume BHCB is an abbreviation for the type of bird. Alone.

Birch Leaves

Birch Leaves

I liked the way the sun shined through these leaves in the late afternoon. Shot at Quincy near the golf course in 2008. Alone.

Blue Heron & White Heron

Blue Heron

White Heron

I was kayaking with my dog at Lake Solano in Central California in 2014 when I shot these photos of herons.

Bowman Lake

Bowman Lake

This was shot at Glacier National Park in 2009 while traveling from Washington to Arizona with my wasband.

Bryce and Bryce Dawn

Bryce

Bryce Dawn

These two photos were shot at Bryce Canyon in 2011. I’d gone there with a client in January on a photo flight for this 360 interactive panorama: Bryce Canyon in Winter, Utah, USA.

Cache Creek

Cache Creek 1

Cache Creek 2

Cache Creek 3

Cache Creek 4

These four images of Cache Creek were taken from my helicopter’s nosecam on an early morning flight up Cache Creek in Central California in 2014. I was alone.

Cascades

Cascades

This image of a ridge and cloud-filled valleys was taken from my helicopter’s nosecam on a flight between Wenatchee, WA and Hillsboro, OR in 2012. I blogged about the flight here and shared video from the flight here. It’s notable not only for the perfect weather and amazing scenery, but because it was my dog Penny’s first helicopter flight — 90 minutes long! And yes, that is Mt. St. Helens in the background.

Cherry Drying Cockpit

Cherry Drying Cockpit

This is a shot from a GoPro camera mounted in the back of my helicopter during a cherry drying flight. It was probably taken in 2011.

Close Up Wheat

Close Up Wheat

This closeup of wheat growing in a field in Quincy, WA was shot in 2009. I was alone.

Combine

Combine

This aerial shot of a wheat combine at harvest on the Waterville Plateau in North Central Washington was shot in 2011 during a flight between Wenatchee and Coeur d’Alene, ID. My friend Jim was flying his helicopter; I was on board with a camera.

Corn

Corn

I like patterns. This field of young corn plants in Quincy, WA was capture in 2009. I was alone.

Cows in the Road

Cows in the Road

I was on my way up to my old Howard Mesa, AZ place one bright winter day when I came upon these cows following tire tracks in the road. When I approached, they just stopped and stared. I took a photo before continuing, herding them along with my Jeep. I can’t be sure of the date, but I expect it was around 2003 or 2004. I was probably with my friend Jeremy.

Cracked Mud

Cracked Mud

I shot this alongside the road to Alstrom Point on the northwest end of Lake Powell in Utah. It was probably shot in 2008. I was alone.

Crescent Bar View, Yellow Flowers

Crescent Bar View

Yellow Flowers

I shot these photo of Crescent Bar in Quincy, WA in 2009 not long after drying a cherry orchard down by the river there. I was alone.

Dandelion

Dandelion

I shot this photo of a dandelion seed puff in Quincy, WA in 2008. I was alone.

Desert Still Life & Desert Wildflowers

Desert Still Life

Desert Wildflowers

I shot these photo of hedgehog cacti blooms and California poppies near Wickenburg, AZ between 2009 and 2011. It was probably on one or two Jeep outings and I was probably with either my wasband or my friend Janet.

Fern

Fern

Patterns and textures again. This was shot in Alaska sometime during a cruise with my wasband in 2007.

Float Plane

Float Plane

I shot this image of a float plane taking off at an Alaska port while on a cruise with my wasband in 2007. It was shot from the balcony of our stateroom.

Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge

This image of the Golden Gate Bridge was shot during a trip to San Francisco in 2011. Not sure if I was alone — isn’t that odd? — but I was probably there for a Macworld Expo speaking gig.

Glacial River Rocks

Glacial River Rocks

I shot this closeup of rocks in a river bed while on a trip to Denali National Park in 2007 with my wasband.

Golf Balls

Golf Balls

Attach a GoPro to the bottom of a helicopter with the lens pointing down. Then hover over a golf course green and drop hundreds of golf balls. This is what it might look like. Shot in late 2011 or early 2012. My client was dropping the balls.

Grand Canyon Sunset

Grand Canyon Sunset

I’ve been to the Grand Canyon countless times so I don’t know exactly when this was taken or whether I was alone. I know it was shot before the summer of 2011.

Gyro Cache Creek & Gyro Pattern

Gyro Cache Creek

Gyro Pattern

I learned how to fly a gyroplane in the spring of 2014. These two shots were made with a GoPro mounted on the mast. In the first shot, I’m flying up Cache Creek; in the second, I’m doing a traffic pattern at Woodland Airport. Both were shot in Central California.

Hay Bales

Hay Bales

I’m pretty sure this was shot on the road between Upper Moses Coulee and Waterville in North Central Washington in 2009. I was alone.

Helicopter

Heli Header

This is a photo of my helicopter right after sunrise parked out near my new home in Malaga, WA. I shot this in 2014; I was alone.

High Tension

High Tension

This was shot in 2008 near the Chief Joseph Dam near Bridgeport, WA. I was on a daytrip with my wasband.

Hopi House

Hopi House

Another trip to the Grand Canyon. I suspect I was alone when I shot this one, possibly on a day trip by helicopter with clients from Phoenix. Sometime between 2009 and 2011.

Houses

Houses

Here’s another straight down image shot with a GoPro from my helicopter. This was Peoria, AZ in 2011 or 2012. I was alone.

Inspecting Bees

Inspecting Bees

I set up a GoPro on a tripod to record a beehive inspection in 2013. That’s me in the picture; I was alone.

International

International

This is a closeup of an old International truck parked outside the bakery at Stehekin, WA. I was there with my wasband and another couple on a helicopter trip in 2011.

Juvenile Robin

Juvenile Robin

Shot in 2008 at Quincy, WA. I was alone.

Ladders, Side

Ladders Side

Patterns again. These are orchard ladders neatly stacked at an Orchard in Quincy, WA. Shot in 2008.

Lake Berryessa

Lake Berryessa

An aerial view of Lake Berryessa in Central California, shot with my helicopter’s nosecam in 2014. I was alone.

Lake McDonald Sunset

Lake McDonald Sunset

This was shot on a trip to Glacier National Park with my wasband in 2009.

Lake Pleasant

Lake Pleasant

Another nosecam image from my helicopter. This is a dawn flight over Lake Pleasant near Phoenix, AZ. I was alone.

Maine Coastal Town & Main Fog

Main Coastal Town

Maine Fog

I shot these during a trip to Maine to visit some former friends with my wasband back in 2008 or 2009.

Marble Canyon

Marble Canyon

Another nosecam image from my helicopter. I’m pretty sure I shot this one on my way back from a Bryce Canyon photo shoot with a client in 2011.

Mini-Stack

Mini-Stack

An aerial view of the so-called “mini-stack” of at I-17 and Route 101 in north Phoenix, AZ. Probably shot in 2011 or 2012.

Mission Ridge Pano

Mission Ridge Pano

I shot this photo from Wenatchee Mountain near Wenatchee, WA during a jeep ride to Mission Ridge with my friend Don in 2014. What an amazing day!

Monument Valley

Monument Valley

I’ve flown over Monument Valley dozens of times. Once in a while, there’s a camera on the helicopter’s nose. This was probably shot in 2011. I was either alone or with aerial photo clients.

Monument Valley Wide

Monument Valley Wide

I used to do multi-day excursions by helicopter to Arizona destinations that included Monument Valley. While my clients took tours, I’d explore on my own. This is Monument Valley from the overlook, shot in 2010 or 2011.

Moonset Sunrise

Moonset Sunrise

I used to camp out at a friend’s place overlooking Squilchuck Valley near Wenatchee, WA. This was one of the early morning views from my doorstep. I was alone.

North to the Future

North to the Future

I shot this in Girdwood, AK in 2008. I’d gone up there alone for a job interview. I got an offer but turned it down. Beautiful place.

No Wake

No Wake

I shot this with my 10.5mm fisheye lens at Lake Pateros, WA in 2008. I was with my wasband.

Orchard Still Life

Orchard Still Life

These are apples culled from the trees in Quincy, WA. Shot in 2008; I was alone.

Peacock

Peacock

This is one of the dozens of peacocks strolling around at the Lake Solano campground in central California. I shot this in 2014; I was alone.

Penny Kayak

Penny Kayak

This is one of the few images I didn’t shoot. I was on a kayak trip in the American River near Sacramento with a Meetup group and one of the other members shot this and sent it to me.

Petrified Wood

Petrified Wood

I’m not sure, but I think this was shot in Vantage, WA in 2008 or 2009. I was probably alone.

Phoenix

Phoenix

Another nosecam image, this time of downtown Phoenix. Shot in 2011 or early 2012; I was likely on a tour with passengers.

Poppies and Chicory

Poppies and Chicory

Another desert jeep trip near Wickenburg, AZ. I could have been alone, with my wasband, or with my friend Janet.

Poppies Plus

Poppies Plus

This wildflower closeup was shot on a trip to the Seattle area, possibly in 2007 with my wasband and his cousin.

Quail Mom

Quail Mom

A Gambols quail hen and her chicks, shot from my doorstep in Wenatchee Heights, WA in 2012. I was alone.

Rafting

Rafting

Put a GoPro in a head mount, get in a raft, and head down the Wenatchee River and this is the result. I was rafting with a bunch of friends in 2013.

Red Wing Blackbird

Red Wing BlackBird

Red Wing Blackbird 1

Red Wing Blackbird 2

I shot these at Quincy Lakes in Quincy, WA in 2008. I was alone.

Rocks Under Water

Rocks Under Water

I’m pretty sure I shot this in 2009 at Glacier National Park on a trip with my wasband.

Saguaro Boulders

Saguar Boulders Big

I shot this photo of saguaro cacti among sandstone boulders near Congress, AZ on a Jeep trip in 2009 or 2010. I was probably with my wasband.

Sand Dunes

Sand Dunes

This is an aerial shot of the sand dunes west of Yuma, AZ. This was probably shot in 2008 on a flight to the San Diego area with my wasband.

San Francisco

San Francisco

What a memorable flight! This was on a ferry flight from the Phoenix area to Seattle in 2008. Another pilot was flying my helicopter so I got to take photos. Low clouds over the coast forced us high over San Fransisco. Amazing views!

Sedona

Sedona

The red rocks of Sedona at Oak Creek. Shot in 2010 or 2011 while on a multi-day excursion with passengers.

Squilchuck View

Squilchuck View

The view from where I spent several late summers at Wenatchee Heights. This was probably shot in 2012.

Steam Train

Steam Train

This is an aerial shot of the old Grand Canyon Railroad steam train. I used to buzz that train with my helicopter any time I saw it from the air. This was probably shot in 2007. I was alone.

Stucco Scroll

Stucco Scroll

I shot this on a photo walk at the San Xavier Mission in Arizona with my wasband and a group of photographers.

Sunset

Sunset

I can’t be sure, but I think I shot this from Howard Mesa in 2006 or 2007.

Surprise Valley Drugs

Surprise Valley Drugs

I shot this in California during my 2005 “midlife crisis road trip.” I was alone. It was one of the best vacations in my life.

Helicopter Tail

Tail Header

An early morning shot of my helicopter parked out near my new home in Malaga, WA. Shot in 2014; I was alone.

Tetons

Tetons

Another shot from my 2005 “midlife crisis road trip.” This was at the Grand Tetons.

Turtle

Turtle

Shot while I was kayaking with my dog at Lake Solano in 2014.

Two Hillers

Two Hillers

I shot this at Brewster Airport in Brewster, WA on a day trip with my wasband in 2008.

Wheat Irrigation

Wheat Irrigation

Textures and patterns. What’s not to love about them? Shot in Quincy, WA in 2008. I was alone.

Yellow Headed Blackbird

Yellow Headed Blackbird

Yellow Headed Blackbird 2

I shot both of these photos at Quincy Lakes in Quincy, WA in 2008. I was alone.

Yellow Flower

Yellow Flower

A yellow flower. Probably shot somewhere in Washington state in 2011 or 2012. I’m sure I was alone.

Yellow Kayak

Yellow Kayak

Although my kayaks are yellow, this isn’t one of them. This was shot at Glacier National Park on a trip there with my wasband in 2009.

Planting Trees

I make plans to add some serious foliage to my property.

I bought 10 acres of view property in Malaga, WA at the end of July, 2013 — the day after my divorce decree was issued. Although financial uncertainty delayed the start of construction of my new home, I finally got the builders out here in May, 2014, and building commenced. Although the shell of the building is done and all of my possessions are tucked safely indoors, the living space still has a way to go. While I wait for that to be done, I’ve gotten back to work on developing the land around my new home: cleaning up my vegetable garden, planting bulbs, sewing wildflower seeds, etc.

My lot is beautiful. It sits on the north side of the road — the side facing the Wenatchee Valley. On clear days — which is most of the time here on the dry side of Washington — the view goes on forever and ever. I see the Columbia River, countless orchards, the cities of Wenatchee and East Wenatchee, the valley walls, and snow-covered mountains nearly year-round. This time of year, the fall color is amazing as individual trees and full orchards change into reds, yellows, and oranges. I built my home to take advantage of these views, with a total of 21 windows, most of which look out to the north, northwest, and northeast where the best views are.

Autumn View
I shot this photo on Monday morning from my Lookout Point bench, after the sunlight had filled the valley. The snow is back on the mountains I can see to the west. Click this image to see a larger version where more detail is visible.

The best thing about this view: it’ll never be blocked. The land drops down sharply near my property line into a deep ravine owned by the county as a wildlife corridor. Beyond it, where the land climbs a bit again, is a very large orchard owned by a local fruit grower. I picked this lot because of this situation — one thing I learned in the past (the hard way) was that if land in front of your view can be bought/changed by someone else, it will be. Even if the PUD did sell that low-lying land to a developer (or something worse), whatever’s down there will never obstruct my view.

The view on the other side of the road isn’t too shabby, either. Basalt cliffs, hundreds of feet tall, filled with bighorn sheep that sometimes wander down to graze on the bunchgrass that dominates the hills below them. The cliffs illuminate with a golden light at sunrise or sunset, especially during the summer months. Really breathtaking sometimes.

Cliff View
This shot gives you a good idea what’s behind my home, on the other side of the road. (Before I completed the RV garage space and driveway apron, my helicopter was parked outside.)

But although there are trees up in the cliffs and trees down in the valley, there aren’t many trees on the properties on my side of the road. My 10 acres doesn’t have a single tree over 10 feet tall. Instead, it’s mostly gently rolling hills with bunch grass and sage brush.

That’s good, to a certain extent. The views wouldn’t be perfect if there were trees in the way. But I would like some trees for shade, privacy from the road, and autumn color. Trees that are drought tolerant once established, trees that grow naturally in the area and will do well here without a lot of watering or maintenance.

Enter the annual Cascadia Conservation District Native Plant Sale. This program makes native plants available at affordable prices to homeowners in the area. It includes tall trees such as ponderosa pines, quaking aspen, rocky mountain Maple, and blue elderberry, as well as shorter shrubs such as red osier dogwood, serviceberry, mock orange, and woods rose. The brochure clearly indicates how large each plant will get, when it flowers, and whether it has edible fruit and/or attracts wildlife. This makes it easy to decide which plants to buy.

Actually, it doesn’t. I want to buy some of everything.

I plan on planting in a few areas. First, alongside the road behind my building. My building is set down in a sort of bowl below the road with no trees or bushes to block it from the road. It’s sort of a fishbowl effect with minimum privacy. Fortunately, my building faces away from the road so I don’t have to worry at all about privacy when I’m inside. But I’d like to get some when I’m outdoors, working in the garden, etc. And a row of bushy trees will not only give me that privacy, but cut down on the dust kicked up by the occasional passing car. (I should mention that there are only three driveways past mine on the road, so it isn’t as if there’s any real “traffic” up here.)

Quaking Aspen
Some of my neighbor’s aspen trees.

What to put up there? I was thinking of a mix of willow (which I’ve already got rooting from a friend in the area), quaking aspen, and red osier dogwood. (A neighbor already offered me some of their aspens — I need to go over and dig them up; after all the rain we’ve been having lately, it shouldn’t be too difficult.) This will give me the privacy/dust screen I want while providing early forage for my bees and vibrant fall colors later in the year. Although all of these do best with some irrigation, I’ve already got irrigation lines on that side of the driveway so it won’t be much of a chore to run another line up to the roadside. All of these varieties grow quickly and self-propagate.

I wasn’t going to plant anything beyond my driveway, but recent events have convinced me to extend that row of trees past the driveway, possibly all the way to the fence line that marks the end of my property. Unlike my neighbors on the other side of the road, my property stretches east along the road. Their lots stretch south up into the cliffs — in fact, they each own not only the cliff face behind their homes, but a bit of land near the top, which is impossible to reach by car or truck. (Not sure the value of that — unless you have a helicopter, of course.) My 10-acre lot actually stretches in front of three of their 20-acre lots.

Rather than have to see my neighbor’s rather unattractive roofline and bright, reflective chimney, I thought I’d plant some trees along the road to block my view. Some tall trees like ponderosa pines would fit in with the vegetation on the cliff side of the road and give me the screen I want. Maybe some blue elderberry and serviceberry so I can harvest some edible fruit at season’s end. I have irrigation set up on that side of my driveway, too, and can run the line quite far — I have excellent water pressure here — so getting all of these plants started and thriving should be pretty easy to do.

Since I plan to move my bee yard out toward the east end of my property next spring, trees out there will give the bees a nice screen from the wind and possibly a bit of shade. I’ll plant all kinds of flowering bushes around the bee yard so there’s foraging opportunities for them nearby. Maybe some snowberry, woods rose, and mock orange?

Not sure what I’ll plant on the view side of my home yet. I think I might wait until spring 2016, when I’m really settled in, to develop in that direction. Next year, I’ll be expanding my garden beyond the small area near my shed to include various locations in the immediate vicinity of my building. After all, if I’m going to plant around the building, why not plant things I can eat?

Beyond that, I suspect I’ll keep things close to the ground — that’s one direction that I don’t want a screen of tall trees. A wildflower field, kept vibrant through irrigation if necessary, might be just what I need. I’ve already got the seeds started.

Repurposing Old Bee Hive Boxes

Reuse, recycle.

A few months back, my beekeeping friend James told me he’d was able to get a bunch of used deep hive boxes for about $5 each. Knowing I used deep boxes — he uses only mediums — he offered them to me. I asked about the condition and he admitted that they were pretty beat up but could probably be usable with just a cleaning and fresh coat of paint. They were heavy-duty commercial boxes — the kind the migratory beekeepers use. I told him I’d take 10.

Beat Up Hive Boxes
These hive boxes are a little more beat up than I was expecting them to be.

I picked them up a while later. Although structurally sound, they were very beat up. James showed me one that he’d painted and it didn’t look half bad. Since the price was right and I had plenty of paint, I took them.

I spent one morning scraping the paint off four of them with a wire brush and then repainting them. They did look much better. But when I slipped some frames into one of them, I realized that they weren’t consistently sized; the frames fit too loosely and would require careful placement to prevent them from falling into the box.

Behive
This is my garden hive, so-called because I placed it near my garden. It was built with two of the used boxes and it’s pretty clear that they simply don’t fit the way they need to.

But it wasn’t until I placed the first box of frames onto a hive bottom — for a swarm capture I needed to permanently house — that I realized the problem couldn’t be solved with just a coat of paint. The top and bottom edges of the boxes were rough. This caused gaps between the bottom and the box and between stacked boxes. The gaps were large enough for light and air to pass through. That meant the bees would be busy filling all those gaps with propolis, thus gluing them together.

I used the four I’d painted and found the same problem with all of them. Although I didn’t want to invest more money in beekeeping equipment than I had to, it was clear that these boxes would not be suitable for long-term use. They’d need to be replaced.

I placed an order for five new boxes from Mann Lake, figuring that I’d begin swapping them out on my next inspections.

But what to do with the unneeded boxes?

The answer was in my garden, which was growing wild in the planters I’d bought and made: more movable planters.

Understand that bee hive boxes do not have tops or bottoms. All they have are sides. While I could simply place a box on the ground, fill it with soil, and plant something in it, that wouldn’t make it movable. It also wouldn’t keep the moles (or voles or whatever I have making holes on my property) from digging in from underneath to kill whatever was growing in the box.

So I did the same thing I did for my large pallet planters — I lined the bottom with wire mesh. I had a large piece I’d been using on the door for my chicken yard that I clipped off, cut to size, and lay inside of each of the three boxes I painted for my trial run. I used a staple gun to fasten the wire to the sides of the boxes. Then I placed the first box in position, put a layer of stray on the bottom, right over the wire, and topped it off with some potting soil. I planted corn in the box, covered the soil with some more straw (to discourage digging by birds), watered it, and left it.

The corn wasn’t supposed to germinate for 8-10 days, but within 6 days, it was pushing its way up between the pieces of straw.

Beehive Planters
A row of the beehive planters. You can see the corn poking up through the straw in the closest box.

I lined up the other two boxes on the ground beside the first. I planted corn in one and onions in the other. When the heat breaks, I’ll prep the remaining three boxes, although I may not plant anything in them until next year.

What I like most about these movable planters is that they’re making it possible for me to have a garden this year, before I’m ready to commit to a location for the garden. And while the bottoms might not be the most sturdy, they do make it possible for plant roots to reach through, into the soil below.

I just hope I didn’t plant the corn too late for a good harvest.