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chief cultivator (Cliff Sharples)

Member since: October 22, 2008

Location:

Mercer island, Wa 98040
USDA hardiness zone 7B

Name:

Cliff Sharples

Member since:

October 22, 2008

My Twitter Page:

http://www.twitter.com/digthedirt

My Website or Blog:

Tropical Seattle

About me

I'm gardening obsessed... planting, designing, growing, eating, photographing, visiting, learning, reading... I love it all. So much so that I have dedicated my professional (and personal) time to building the best possible gardening site online. My motivation purely selfish: after over 18 years in the online business, I want an online home for my gardening lifestyle - everything from meeting great people who are fellow garden-lovers, reading about new and interesting ideas in gardening, accessing a plant database built by real gardeners, and managing my own gardening pursuits. When I am not gardening or thinking about gardening, I spend time with my partner in crime, Lisa, and our family of 5 children and 3 dogs! We make DigtheDirt a family business, and I hope to add you as a Dirt Family Member too!


Current project

My first raised bed vegetable gardens!! Just built three 4x4 beds and cut down three dead bamboo poles I grew to make a giant teepee for pole beans that will come out of the middle of each bed... totally psyched, but kind of nervous about seed starting... let the adventure begin :-)


Type of gardener

intermediate enthusiast, ornamental, asian-inspired, tropical


Favorite garden activity

A great fresh meal amongst family and friends in the garden

garden wall

Hi...i just joined the website looking around for certain Raspberry varieties when i noticed your commentary about the Rubus &quot;Goldie&quot;, or Graton Gold Raspberry which like Kiwi Gold is seemingly impossible to find to buy these cultivars, if you or anyone has knowledge of where i get get my hands on a &quot;Goldie&quot; Raspberry, or Kiwi Gold please forward that info <br/> <br/>thanx
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Greenhorn3 commented on 09/16/13
I just joined this site and would like to ask a question. I&#x27;ve been looking for delphinium &#x27;blue jay&#x27; and I find that most links on the web point to retailers in the UK - very few in the US and none in the Pacific NW. Why is that? Where can I get seeds for blue jay? <br/> <br/>Also, I see that the photos on the web show a wide range of colors (deep blue, pale sky blue, purple, dark purple, pink, etc.). Is this just an artifact of the photo-rendering process or does bluejay actually vary that much? How can I be sure I&#x27;m getting the color I want (deep blue) if I order it? Will it breed true to color?
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ariespc commented on 04/24/13
I I am wondering if there is another way to contact you other than posting comments. There is a plant post that I feel may be slightly incorrect and wanted to discuss it.
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CrazyCatLady commented on 04/11/12
Hey Chief Cult! <br/> <br/>I recently landed in Austin after moving from Seattle...Working for this great online vacation rental company here. <br/> <br/>Figured you might give me some tips about putting a few veggies in the ground in our rental home. Where&#x27;s the best place to look for tips on what vegetables I could grow in Austin if I planted them now and wanted to reap the rewards by July. Any thoughts? I&#x27;m thinking tomatoes, which we never could get to grow well in Seattle because we didn&#x27;t have a very sunny yard (or a very sunny city!). Would that work? What else?
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Bill F. commented on 03/31/12
Hi Cliff, Lisa &amp; Gang, <br/> <br/> While tying to establish a beachhead on my cluttered desk, I can across a beautiful collage of a wonderful family also found a letter describing this site, so I thought that I would check it out.Take care. &amp; Thanks for what you have done for someone close to me and your family. <br/>
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jarhead commented on 09/24/11
Hey Cliff, I am on a road trip up the west coast for work, but only going as far as Vancouver. If I ever get up to Mercer Island, I hope you would be willing to give a little tour of the garden. Your banana trees looked good after overwintering.
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photoclark commented on 04/02/11
Hey, Sorry I missed this message! Let me know if you're headed up to the Seattle area! Cliff
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chief cultivator replied: on 04/06/11
I am wondering if you have ever grown blueberries hydroponically? I am thinking about trying to grow blueberries hydroponically and was wondering what the water PH would be since it varies from the soil PH. Also, how long to vegetate and how long to flower, look forward to hearing your response. Thanks
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ShavanoBlueberries commented on 12/29/10
Hi there Chief Cultivator! It&#x27;s been awhile since I&#x27;ve chkd into digthedirt and keep in touch w/friends. Started a new adventure - setting up shop in a little front offic space of The Plant Station (my favorite plant store)to sell my pressed flowers, sachets (home-made potpourri and soaps), greeting cards (copies of pressed flower pics) and my hand-dyed scarves - pics of those on my facebook phot album) - worked hard to get all set up just to find that I couldn&#x27;t devote so much of my time &quot;waiting for buyers!&quot; AND I&#x27;M MUCH MORE COMFORTABLE IN THE GARDEN!!! So I&#x27;m back and glad! Hope to stay in touch more often now! This is where I belong even though the others was worth a try - &quot;live and learn&quot;! Have fun today! I&#x27;ve decided I am going to make it a fun day! faerie garden
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faerie garden commented on 07/02/10
hey cliff - did you do that poppy arrangement? Fabu, indeed. My big botanical garden project in san antonio is going full force. The 7 acre gardens with two ponds will be open for visitors by September 1st. I&#x27;ve been corresponding with Doug J. lately, I hear y&#x27;all are meeting in Dallas soon for Garden Writers. Give me a ring if you have any spare time when you are in Austin, lots to catch up on. Ciao, tell everyone &#x27;hi&#x27; for me! Barry <br/>
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cajunbarry commented on 06/17/10
This is a cool site. I&#x27;m getting my dirt on this year!
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Mad Cow commented on 06/01/10
Thanks! Get dirty and let's see what you're growing :-)
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chief cultivator replied: on 06/01/10
Thanks for the compliment and friend&#x27;s add! This is a great site, I&#x27;m enjoying my time here
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terraforms commented on 05/25/10
Cliff, I love the content you have added for vegetable gardening and urban farming related stuff. The neighbor hood group thing is great too I think once it get&#x27;s going. I know we talked about our need for our own MIUFNetwork page, with events/calendar that we could add to and communicate information through to the network as a whole. Is that still something you want to do? We have to decide what to do about our Ning site soon, with the fees being added soon. There are some interim google group/sites we could go to for a while if people don&#x27;t want to deal with NING. You may want to give us your thoughts on the ning site about what might work well for announcements and so forth. You&#x27;ll see I tried to create some groups by grid number there too that you neighbor to neighbor thing may do as well or better over time.
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Kim commented on 05/10/10
Cliff, <br/>If you set-up an address heading under everyone&#x27;s personal information page for entering our sector number, the neighborhood groupings could be automatic perhaps. For instance on the south end the City Sector map of Mercer Island has sectors 9, 10, 11 &amp; 12. You and I are in number 9. In fact, number 9 has a big number of the Urban Farming Network people in it. Anyway, it might be useful to find a way to overlap the neighborhoods with these grid numbers on your database. We could get MIUFN members to add their grid number to their personal information if you think it would be helpful.... <br/> <br/>
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Kim commented on 05/10/10
I have another request: Can we have an area on our wall where we can see those who have invited us to be friends--and also what conversations we&#x27;ve participated in? Or am I missing that somewhere? I get email notifications but it would be easier if they were on my wall. Thank you.
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Flowergardengirl commented on 05/05/10
Both good suggestions... Right now, you can see Friend invites on the friends tab of your profile - scroll down past the list of your friends... This will soon be elevated to your personalized home page, where you'll have an "Invitations and Approvals" section beneath your Dirt Feeds, so you won't miss them! In terms of conversations you've participated in, there are two ways to view that. First, in your Dirt Feeds on your personalized home page, open up the Comments section and you'll see any comments people have made on your items (wall, posts, questions, photos, group) and any responses to comments you've posted on a wall, post, question, photo, group...). Secondly, if you check out the Contributions tab of your profile and scroll down, you'll see the last 10 comments you've made anywhere on the site. I think as I am seeing a lot of use with comments, we may need to go ahead and display the entire history... Let me know what you think, and any more suggestions to improve it! We're working on a new design for profiles, and increased functionality for the member home page now :-)
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chief cultivator replied: on 05/05/10
Awesome vegetable hub idea, love the links and the pictures to add inspiration. I&#x27;ll do the walk through soon too! <br/>-Kim <br/>
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Kim commented on 05/04/10
Hi guys--I wrote you a long comment on the new cultivars group--but there was a problem reported with posting--just wanted you to know I&#x27;ve tried to answer. Thanks, Anna
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Flowergardengirl commented on 04/29/10
Thanks for sending this! I'll check into it and see what the problem is... such a bummer... what was the subject?!
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chief cultivator replied: on 04/29/10
Whasup west-coasters? I just picked up a potentially HUGE Lake Austin residential landscape job for a Barley &amp; Pfieffer Architects not-yet-built residence. The San Antonio Botanic Garden project at Palo Alto College is going full-force, and I am starting a &quot;waiting list&quot; for design...not to jinx it, but the Austin and San Antonio economy may very well be on the rebound. <br/> Enjoying the up-side of the roller coaster ride called Austin again...I saw Sir Elton John in concert on Saturday night, which was inspiring. <br/>Happy spring, still holding the &quot;rain check&quot; since New Years for our coffee get-together next time you guys are in A-town... barry
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cajunbarry commented on 04/14/10
Hey Barry! Awesome to hear that you're doing so well! I can't wait to see some of your jobs! Things are great out here... hopefully see you soon!
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chief cultivator replied: on 04/20/10
Hey Cliff and Lisa! Happy Spring and belated Happy Anniversary. Whasup these days? I have been working on the design of a San Antonio College Botanic Garden since January - from scratch! It is awesome and a bit daunting, but you know this Cajun plant geek is in hortiheaven. <br/>Think about you guys often, Happy Easter -- tell everybody &#x27;hi&#x27; for me. barry
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cajunbarry commented on 04/04/10
issue? <br/>
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FigTree commented on 03/10/10
how goes it Kaa? barry in Austin
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cajunbarry replied: on 04/14/10
Hi Cliff, this is fun, a few people commented on my blog!! now i will have to get some nice pics together, which i should do anyway as i want the before and after shots of the garden. ( probably a 10 year time frame ) <br/> <br/>i like the unusual pots pictures, i have a &quot;Succulents High Tea Party&quot; i will take a picture of to show. i was about to ditch some shoes so will plant some more succulents in them instead and they can join the Tea Party. <br/> <br/>Fun Fun from Karman
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Karman commented on 02/24/10
I love it! Can't wait to see your succulents high tea party pic!! The community is just getting going, so feel free to invite friends so we can get even more activity going!
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chief cultivator replied: on 02/24/10
I saw your photo of eggplants and I keep being told they don&#x27;t grow here in Seattle... tell me what you grew and anything special I need to consider. thanks.
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Kim commented on 02/21/10
They were actually easy! I just inserted three eggplant seedlings into my perennial bed that gets full sun... they got to be about 6-10 inches long - a little small, but they tasted great and we got 15-20 of them! Definitely doing it again!
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chief cultivator replied: on 02/21/10
hey c- <br/> <br/>garden gossip had a question on her wall-- don&#x27;t really know how to answer it. can you take a stab at the question?
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FigTree commented on 01/31/10
Yo Gardener! It got verrrrrry cold here. Just beginning to see the damage in some plants. <br/>It&#x27;s time to re-plant all over town, I&#x27;m ready to do the job ;-) Happy New Year, pencil me in for a long coffee chat in A-Town, lots going on. Tell lisa &#x27;hi&#x27; for me...
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cajunbarry commented on 01/19/10
Wow. A living wall what a great concept/project idea. Has anyone sent you any plans or ideas yet? Quite a concept..i&#x27;m interested too, I cant get rid of these sedums here. They transplant themselves via the wind, but I think it would make a huge fascinating piece of living art..
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GardeningCas commented on 12/09/09
chief- could you upload a picture of a banana plant to my help- member to member question for me? thanks. FT
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FigTree commented on 11/06/09
That sunrise photo took my breath away and only lasted for a few fleeting minutes. Thanks for your comment.
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Thyme commented on 11/03/09
I&#x27;ll be in the garden.com group...hey, did Jeannie Francis (Brassy) from the old chat days contact you? I ran into her on facebook, there is a group of garden.com alums there...I joined way back. Search on &quot;garden.com&quot; on facebook or try this link: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=90499491687&amp;ref=search&amp;sid=1129140524.2936310975..1 . It is a cool idea to help gardeners migrate to digthedirt, I would think. <br/>Barry <br/>
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cajunbarry commented on 10/02/09
Hey CB- I went there and joined- maybe I'll just talk for a while, get to know the crowd. Thanks for the info! FT
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FigTree replied: on 11/06/09
Thank for joining the cultivar group. The opportunity to test cultivars came along while I was working at a nursery. They carried mostly Proven Winners Plants which are cultivars. When I started blogging about the great results from these varieties--then PW started noticing and ask if I&#x27;d like to receive them on a regular basis. Now I&#x27;ve learned a bunch and get more and more excited as the new ones come out. Other companies send me plants too and I blog about them also but this is how I got started. I&#x27;m always a year ahead from what will be offered at retail.
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Flowergardengirl commented on 09/28/09
Thanks for the welcome, so glad to be here! I will do whatever you need. I can send out an e-mail to all those I still have contact with. Whit can include this site in his daily words of wisdom. <br/> <br/>But help! I&#x27;m trying to post my photo&#x27;s and the back yard project we are working on here in our new home. I can only post 1 photo at a time and some of those are turning out huge. Can you help me with this? Thanks so much.
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pacificstar commented on 09/25/09
Barry, I came in to check things out here at this site as you suggested. Then I see names I know. I&#x27;ve not heard what happened to Micheal? But Cliff it&#x27;s good to see your name here <br/>Happy Tue <br/>Brassi
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brassi commented on 09/22/09
Just got the news about Michael Ezell and I can&#x27;t believe it. I am saddened beyond putting words to it. Michael was the initial driving technical force of Garden.com, I am thinking of him on launch day that first day of spring when we were all at the office on 6th and Congress. <br/>Barry
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cajunbarry commented on 09/22/09
Are you here in Austin still? We HAVE to have coffee, dude. <br/>barry@digaustingarden.com
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cajunbarry commented on 09/22/09
Hey Cliff, <br/>Sally here in Austin - the statesman has info on Michael Ezell. <br/>Sorry to send info this way. <br/>Sally
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go native commented on 09/01/09
You must check these guys out, their blog is a hoot: http://www.twogreenthumbs.com/ <br/>Also, I just finished the landscape extravaganza on a huge Lake Austin estate, pictures soon. <br/>Barry
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cajunbarry commented on 08/25/09
I love tiny gardening! Very funny! Can't wait to see pics of your latest! Going to stay at the ranch on Wed and Thurs nights for a very quick trip to Austin... Can't wait to see progress on the court!
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chief cultivator replied: on 08/25/09
relentless...I am planting succulents as fast as I can! <br/>Waiting for the rains of el Nino
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cajunbarry commented on 08/19/09
Where are my cat-crossing-farm Iowan friends? <br/>I have a good friend who just passed through Seattle today and is driving to Vancouver to visit Butchart, I am so jealous.
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cajunbarry commented on 08/11/09
debilitating...
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cajunbarry commented on 08/11/09
any new pictures of gardening projects??!
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chief cultivator replied: on 08/18/09
testing
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chief cultivator replied: on 08/18/09
I started posting photos!!! I&#x27;m going to filli n my profile too :)
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SeattleCityGardner commented on 07/22/09
okay...I am officially obsessed too. Have y&#x27;all heard of the northern California group of rad gardeners called the &quot;Hortisexuals&quot;? It is a group of like-minded people who just can&#x27;t get enough of -- plants. It is the new term for &quot;plant geeks&quot;, ahem. <br/>http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs086/1102578452869/archive/1102597503152.html
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cajunbarry commented on 07/16/09
How does silver pony foot dichondra do for you guys in the Seattle area? I recall seeing the common green dichondra as lawns on the west coast, but I am curious about this silver variety from west Texas and Mexico, Dichondra argentea, sometimes labeled &#x27;Silver Falls&#x27;.
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cajunbarry commented on 07/16/09
I had to change my photo -- the Donald Roller Wilson monkey was giving me the creeps. ;-) <br/>Check out these steps on Stratford Drive. I planted them about three years ago. All sedums and all irrigated internally with tubing. They come back year after year here in Austin.
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cajunbarry commented on 07/15/09
Hey, how&#x27;d you know it was me? yukyuk <br/>Glad to see the site up and running...I am making new garden friends already ;-) <br/>It has been gruelingly hot here in central Texas, with low humidity (20 - 30%). Plants are going into their annual summer drought dormancy, but the tough palms, agaves, cycads and Mexican bromeliads are holding up nicely. I am very jealous of you guys in the cool and moist Pacific Northwest right now! <br/>Sweltering in Texas
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cajunbarry commented on 07/06/09
haha - I will this weekend, I promise!
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SeattleCityGardner commented on 06/26/09
Hey TikiHead! <br/> <br/>Did you see my pics of tulips I uploaded from the Skagit Tulip Festival this year?
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garden slug commented on 06/09/09
We&#x27;ve started a vegetable garden. Tomatoes, beans, squash, chives, onions. It&#x27;s the first year and we&#x27;re still building the soil, so next year will be the productive one.
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in the weeds commented on 06/06/09
how's the harvest going?
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chief cultivator replied: on 08/18/09
Not great. The heat has been brutal.
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in the weeds replied: on 08/18/09
I think this garden wall is going to catch on.
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in the weeds commented on 06/05/09

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