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The Whistling Gardener's Blog - "Stake Now or Forever Hold Your Peas"

It is time to draw the line in the garden as to how far we are going to let our plants sprawl or flop BEFORE they get out of hand because before we know it, the delphiniums are 5 feet tall, and the sweet peas are all over the place.

Okay, it's a little corny but a good introduction into staking and tying and otherwise containing our too tall and too rambunctious plants in our gardens.

It is time to draw the line in the garden as to how far we are going to let our plants sprawl or flop BEFORE they get out of hand because before we know it, the delphiniums are 5 feet tall, the sweet peas are all over the place, and the peonies are in full bloom. One little rain storm is all it takes to knock them all to the ground and once they are down it seems like they will never straighten up again.

Mill Creek Women's Club is given special recognition at YWCA Inspire Luncheon

The first YWCA Inspire Luncheon held in Snohomish County was in 1999 and raised $52,120. This year's Snohomish County Luncheon raised a total of $122,500.

The YWCA celebrated the 25th year of their Inspire Luncheons this year with events in Seattle, Bellevue and Everett. These luncheons are an opportunity for guests to connect with others and celebrate the achievements of the YWCA in supporting and empowering women and families.

The first YWCA Inspire Luncheon held in Snohomish County was in 1999 and raised $52,120. This year's Snohomish County Luncheon raised a total of $122,500.

More than 40 members of the Mill Creek Women's Club attended this year's luncheon at Comcast Arena in Everett on May 9th. The Women's Club was given special recognition for supporting the YWCA with generous cash donations and by volunteering many hours of their time each and every week to support Pathways for Women.

In 2012 the women's club raised over $17,000 at their annual auction to support the YWCA Pathways for Women. This program reaches over 1,000 women each year in Snohomish County, helping them to help themselves and their families become independent. It provides emergency shelter as a safe haven for women and their children and helps families that have become homeless to rebuild their lives.

Left Coast/Right Coast – Observations on sports and waterfalls

The Mariners and the Seahawks: For some reason, professional football seems to have taken the place of professional baseball in defining part of who a city is. Growing up in New York City, it was the Brooklyn Dodgers or the New York Yankees who defined the essence of being from New York.

The Mariners and the Seahawks: For some reason, professional football seems to have taken the place of professional baseball in defining part of who a city is. Growing up in New York City, it was the Brooklyn Dodgers (when they were still playing at the old Ebbits Field in Brooklyn, or the New York Yankees who defined the essence of being from New York. Kids lived or died on the daily batting averages of their heroes. Mickey Mantle was one of my childhood heroes.

In the movie “A Bronx Tale” (written by Chazz Palminteri – who also plays Sonny, the lead mobster character) Sonny is talking to the young kid he takes under his wing. The kid, nicknamed “C” by Sonny, is talking about how great Mickey Mantle is.

Sonny told C, “What’s so great about Mickey Mantle. He doesn’t care about you or your family. If your father lost his job, see if Mickey Mantle will write a check to your family.”

Poor C, you could see the idolatry drain out of his face as he realized that sports heroes were just well paid people who wouldn’t or couldn’t really help the ordinary working folk. But let your team get into the Super Bowl or the World Series and suddenly the entire city comes together and becomes one with the team.

The Whistling Gardener's Blog - Don't Panic!

This weekly column is being reproduced with the permission of Steve Smith, The Whistling Gardener, and owner of Sunnyside Nursery in Marysville. Don’t panic about being too late with your plantings.

That’s right fellow gardeners, don’t panic about being too late with your veggie and flower plantings. It’s only early May and we did have a frost on May 1st so just because it is all of a sudden sunny and in the mid 70’s does not mean that it will be summer next week.

Something to also keep in mind is that due to the wetter and cooler than normal April that we just finished growers do not instantly have product for a sunny May day. Crops grew slower in April and didn’t move out to the retailers as fast so growers were tight on space for the next crop which put them behind schedule. As gardeners we sometimes forget that not everything can be ready to buy when we decide that today is the day to work in the garden. It all takes time and you simply can’t rush Mother Nature.

Musings Artist Inspired closing their business

Musings Artist Inspired closing

We are sorry to announce that, due to unexpected circumstances beyond their control, our friends at Musings Artist Inspired in the Mill Creek Town Center will be closing their doors in early June.

Fellow artists and friends Marcia Beck and Leigh Anne Weller opened Musings in 2007 and provided a location for local and regional artists to showcase and sell their artwork. They  offered a unique shopping experience for their loyal customers.

All local artist work will be available for sale at Musings until the last week of May.

Starting Thursday, May 2nd, select merchandise will be on sale and all sales will be final.

Mike Gold’s Blog - Left Coast/Right Coast

Mike Gold is a retired entrepreneur providing his views on the Northwest. Photo credit: Mike Gold.

Fly over country: I am a relatively recent transplant to the West Coast. I have lived (born and raised) in the Northeastern U.S. So these observations are based upon “living the dream” in the Pacific Northwest.

The majority of east coast residents, especially those who haven’t travelled much beyond where they were raised, don’t know that there is much of anything beyond Chicago (and that’s giving them some credit). After all, Chicago’s Northwestern University, founded in the 19th century, was at that time the far-reaching “western terminus of the United States,” hence its name.

So what? Well, for starters, people like me when they arrive here are quite surprised at what is here. For example, the University of Washington is in the top 5 U.S. universities in receiving federal funding for research. It is internationally renown for work in the medical field. Some of the leading edge medical research in cancer detection and treatment and the related pharmacology is done right here. Who would have thought?

Spring Clean Your Pantry in 3 Simple Steps

As part of a good spring cleaning routine don't forget your pantry. Here are three simple steps to a clean pantry and three ingredients to toss, without exception.

It’s that time of year.  Open the windows, roll up your sleeves and dig in. Many of us take the time each spring to eliminate old paperwork, magazines and clothes that we no longer need or use. My mantra as I begin the task of spring cleaning is a quote I read by William Morris, “Have nothing in your house you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” As part of a good spring cleaning routine don't forget your pantry. Here are three simple steps to a clean pantry and three ingredients to toss, without exception.     

The Whistling Gardener's May Check List

The Whistling Gardener's May checklist.

WELL, I THINK IT IS SAFE TO SAY THAT SPRING HAS SPRUNG. I am now mowing my lawn twice a week (but only because I like to keep it very short), watering my containers several times a week (these are pots with permanent plantings that tend to shed the rain), the frogs are making a ruckus every evening and the robins are at it every morning around 5am or earlier. Why on earth do robins have to start chirping so damn early in the morning anyway? Yes, spring is in full swing and it’s time to get serious in the garden. Here are my key points for this month.

LATE WINTER AND EARLY SPRING BLOOMING PLANTS—Flowering shrubs like Forsythia, Pieris, Winter Heather and early rhodies and azaleas should be pruned back now to control and shape the new growth. Candy tuft, Aubretia, creeping phlox and just about anything that will finish blooming this month needs to be cut back and groomed when the flowers fade. This small task will reap huge dividends by keeping your plants compact and tidy and covered with new blooms next season. Left undone you will end up with scraggly and overgrown specimens that after a few years you will want to rip out and replace. It is also smart to fertilize after pruning to support the new growth.

Chateau Ste. Michelle announces 2013 summer concert series

Chateau Ste. Michelle invites you to share a part of your summer with them. Enjoy the fresh air, delicious wine, and perhaps a picnic dinner while listening to the vibrant sounds of live music from your favorite band.

Chateau Ste. Michelle invites you to share a part of your summer with them. Enjoy the fresh air, delicious wine, and perhaps a picnic dinner while listening to the vibrant sounds of live music from your favorite band.

Hosting live performances since 1984, Chateau Ste. Michelle’s Summer Concert Series stands as one of the Pacific Northwest’s great music venues. The annual series features a diverse line-up of top jazz, rock, blues and contemporary artists that are drawn to the intimate Amphitheatre setting.

Tickets are sold in the Chateau or through Ticketmaster at face value only. For Ticketmaster, visit any Tickectmaster outlet or call 800.745.3000. The winery is not responsible for tickets or ticket packages sold through other vendors or programs.

Tickets go on sale Saturday 27th, April at 10:00am.

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