7/4: the rainy edition

It’s hard to feel festive in this prolonged downpour…  We were going to watch tonight’s fireworks with the Jrs. down at the Museum, but not…

Here’s my garden-version of fireworks…

DSC_0018

I love scarlet Bee balm, aka bergamot, monarda, or Oswego tea.  I’ve grown it in various gardens and always ended up ripping it out because of it will take over a space pretty quickly.  It is leggy and always falls during a rain, has a tendency to mold, but the scent is glorious and the leaves make a lovely Earl-Gray-Like tea.  Last year I planted one in a pot and it did all right, so I overwintered it.  This year…well, it has taken over the pot like ivy.  I hate that the bees and hummers can’t get to it, but I really have no place outside for it.  Today, though, I was glad it hadn’t gotten swamped…

I don’t want to talk about it, but I’m scheduled for a colonoscopy on Wednesday, so I can’t eat anything with skin or seeds.   That dietary restriction includes my lovely, First Tomato of the Season.

DSC_0001

I had to harvest it before it split from all the rain…  I’m afraid to even slice it up for Casey—I might accidentally have a bite…   Surely it will be even better Wednesday evening.

The garden has no complaints about the rain…

DSC_0004

Rainy days are a gift to a reader, so I won’t complain either!   Happy 4th, friends!

Snappy Shots

The West Front Flower Patch…

The Edible Garden…

No rain has helped us to keep the gardens hydrated through these hot, muggy days, so that’s been my major accomplishment for the week.   Our local Shriner Fest started Wednesday and I’ve been distracted by the Air Show and my Favorite–Ultimate Air Dogs.  After I do some lavender-trimming and day lily dead-heading, I’m heading back down to the Riverfront for More!!!

Enjoy your day and drink water, drink water, drink water..!

Excerpts from the Garden Journal

I keep–or try to keep–a written journal of each gardening year, especially for marking my planting and harvest times.  I also try to keep track of what worked, what didn’t, and just how much work it took to get it to work!!!   I usually start out strong, chronicling my seed-starting and planting precisely, then trail off once I’ve gotten to the just maintenance part.  Last night I caught up with my journal after a 2-week hiatus.

DSC_0003 (4)

6/15/16—

I did it again—neglected my garden journal.

Everything has grown like crazy–temps summer-like and humid.

Front porch:  wicker planter and houseplants out 6/13.  Fountain is cool.

DSC_0031 (2)

Hydrangeas —  cut back to clear window 6/12  and now rain has front blooms on the ground.  Need to cut them all back.  Blooms cut from back are drying on front porch.  Laid soaker hose.

DSC_0026 (2)

North Garden —  added daisies, pruned and trimmed, put riprap around edge, added soaker hose.

Butterfly/Bird garden (east) —  Lovely!  Added a flat dish hummingbird feeder and hung all 3 from trellis.  Read an article that said this may discourage bully-hummers, but..?  Planted honeysuckle at N end of trellis—hoping to train it to cover top.  Added soaker hose.

DSC_0005 (3)

Daylilies —  Huge (will need to be divided this year).  Not sure I appreciate them enough for the work of constant deadheading the slimy blooms.

DSC_0012 (3)

Pineapple Sage –okay.  Holly — good.  Soaker hose to all .

West (front) garden.  Saw a mom goldfinch land on a coneflower, shadowed by her young’un.  She tried another and decided finally on a large, more open bloom down the way.  Baby followed and she showed him how to munch the seeds from the flower, then flew up to a branch to watch proudly as he/she fed like a pro.    Black-eyed Susan vine growing like a weed and the Moonflower Vine is Alive!!!

Edibles— I do believe I’ll have ripe tomatoes by the 4th of July!  Almost lost the bush zucchini, but I covered a broken spot with dirt and it looks like it’s surviving.  fingers crossed.  3 of the ca wonder peppers look crappy, others okay.

It has rained the last 2 days and today’s high is predicted to be 97 degrees!!!   Sounds extremely sticky, so I’m glad the pool is up now.   Olivia and I are headed over to Henderson for lunch and to check out the Handy Blues Fest.

Stay cool, wherever you are!

Garden Photo Log

Just a taste of what’s happening in the gardens here at Sonnystone…

It’s all good…  play in the dirt

Catching up with the gardens…

It seems like I have been gardening for months with nothing to show for it.  Well, actually, I have been gardening for months.   I planted spinach, lettuce, sugar peas, arugula back in March, covering them several times as the temps dipped.  In fact, this Spring has been pretty sucky, staying cold until a couple of weeks ago!  We enjoyed a couple of nice salads, and replanted that area with green beans.  The peas are still coming on–sweet Oregon Sugar Pods II–

DSC_0037 (3)

We were teased with warmer temps for a spell in April, and I divided daisies and pruned, started planting containers, and buying edibles.  I ended up having to re-pot the better boys and finally put them out on May 2.  We still had some lower temps!, but now that Spring has seriously sprung, they are fine.  I always have a problem with bell peppers, so I bought up a dozen of them and I’ve babied them along until planting them just last Saturday.  We put up the poles and the beans are planted, and if you can see, there are 3 squash mounds under them.  I’m trying the bush zucchini this year (as well as my old faithful yellow straight-neck) and I have no idea what to expect.

That, and several rows of bush beans over in the corner, is it for the in-ground garden, but I potted up a whopping 16 basil plants, oregano, sage, lemon balm, a cherry red husky, and cilantro.

DSC_0015

 

There are some edibles out on the front porch, too (mint, nasturtium, rosemary, lemon verbena), but it’s mostly flowers–petunias, gerbera daisies, vinca…  We bought the water fountain at a rummage sale last year, and I’m loving the sound of the water flowing.  Some creeping jenny and a water hyacinth are in there, too.  I used an old cd-rack as a trellis for the lemon verbena–it likes to grow wonky and it fits the curves…

 

DSC_0001

…and coleus for the shadiest part.DSC_0008

Check out my nasturtium…

DSC_0005

The front flower garden got straightened up, and I added some hollyhocks and a black-eyed susan vine to the mix…

The East side of the house is a bird-haven, and they love it.  I did add a climbing yellow rose bush behind the birdbath…

Last year I had a huge pineapple sage shrub on the corner and it crowded its neighbors, so I removed it and planted another butterfly bush.  We pulled down an ivy trellis and put up a picket gate.  Until the b-bush grows, I’ve got some coreopsis in there…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The geraniums for the washtubs were some of the first I planted this year, and they are going strong.  The daylilies are starting to come in bloom, too…

DSC_0060 (3)

I think I’ve taken you all around the house, now.  You can see what I’ve been up to…well, don’t forget there have been 5 vacation/trips interspersed amongst the planting time!!!

6 tomato plants–3 better boys, 1 cherry husky, 1 sweet cherry 100, 1 roma

2 yellow straight-neck squash

1 zucchini bush squash

12 bell peppers–4 cal wonders, 4 red, 4 big bertha

pole beans, bush beans

tarragon

16 basil

1 sage

1 oregano

1 lemon balm

1 chocolate mint, 1 peppermint

1 lemon verbena

16 petunias

8 vinca

12 geranium

3 coleus

1 nasturtium

2 gerbera daisies

1 black-eyed susan vine

2 hollyhocks

3 coreopsis

2 butterfly bushes

1 rosemary

1 climbing yellow rose

  The deer ate the plants in my urn, so I’m replacing them with red grass.

I have 12 marigolds for I-don’t-know-where—-yet.

Planting is my favorite…

We’ll be home now until mid-July when I fly out to bring the NYC girls home.  Looks like we’ll be eating well this summer!

 

Pre-Spring at the Acres

I planted some broccoli plants and sowed some peas, spinach, and lettuce yesterday.  Seeds don’t make for great pictures, though.  My head is full of plans:  another butterfly bush, more knock-out roses.  I think I’m going to invest in some clematis for the front and back, and if I can get Casey to do some digging, I’d like to extend the flower garden in the front.   I haven’t been down in the woods since the big rains, but I can squint and see blooms down that way.

sweet spring is your time

is my time is our

time for springtime is lovetime

and viva sweet love

……e.e.cummings

My favorite Beatle was the gardener…

George Harrison would have been 74 today…

George was always my favorite Beatle, from the minute they invaded the U.S.  I was sure that since our birthdays were close (both Pisces!  a match made in heaven!) it was a Sign that we were fated to be together, and figured since he was the youngest, I had more of a chance of getting him to fall in love with me..

He died waayy too young, 59 years old.  His death occurred a couple of weeks after 9/11 and we were a little, um, distracted, so there wasn’t a lot of tribute given to his beautiful life and art.  It wasn’t until I became a gardener that I realized he, too, was a gardener, and for all the right reasons.

I wish I could get started outside.  The snowdrops are blooming, leading the way to spring for the crocus and daffodils.  All of the perennials are greening,  with none complaining about the rain or the teasing balmy temperatures.

I’ll be out there Soon…I hope…and gardening is mostly hope…

George knew that…  I think I’ll queue up “Here Comes The Sun”, a hopeful song if I ever heard one.

 

george in the garden

“I’m really quite simple. I don’t want to be in the business full-time, because I’m a gardener. I plant flowers and watch them grow. I don’t go out to clubs and partying. I stay at home and watch the river flow.”

[George Harrison]