Monday, June 29, 2009
Friday, June 26, 2009
It was nice to be able to get outside into the garden the last two days, though it looks like more rain is forecast for this weekend. I finally had the opportunity to plant the fothergilla that I got for Father's Day, thanks to my generous mother-in-law.
With all the rain, this is starting out to be a good year for lettuce and (so far) not so good for my warm-weather crops (tomatoes, cukes, peppers, squashes). But Sage and I found about 10 sugar snap peas ready to harvest yesterday, and Sage ate them without them greedily.
Assessing the weak points of my garden, I started some more perennials from seed, most of it leftover seed I didn't start this winter: oriental poppies, columbines, shasta daisies (the ones in the garden never came up), verbena, verbascum, foxglove, and chocolate flower. They are in flats in the back yard.
I pulled out the spinach from my raised bed: it had stopped producing, and had bolted (flowered).
Speaking of the raised bed: another of its benefits is that it hasn't been attacked by slugs, which, given all the rain, have been prolific this year.
New openings: gaillardia, roses, helenium, tansy (I like the photo below of the tansy blooming right next to my ox-eye daisies), and one unidentified flower blooming where I don't remember planting it (see photo below). I'll have to look it up in my Taylor's Guide to figure it out, but feel free to identify it in the comments.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Southern Maine gardens took a beating over the last few days, with 1-2 inches of rain on Friday. Today I assessed the damage, and don't feel too bad. In fact, my garden has transformed itself from predominantly blues and purples to an abundance of yellows, thanks to daylilies and California poppies opening. Here are some photos from this morning:
The first of my daylilies opened two days ago.
Now I have about a dozen in bloom.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
My first daylily opened: a reblooming Stella d'Oro. It's the first sign that summer is on its way. I'm looking forward to a full display of them, since I have dozens of daylilies in the garden.
Ringing out the old, I pulled up almost all of my tulips and hyacinths, as they have yellowed and flopped. It added a ton of green matter to my compost bin!
Friday, June 12, 2009
Locals know that Portland got heavy rain this morning. It wreaked havoc on some of my taller plants: my oriental poppies lost their petals, and both my ox-eye daisies and hesperis flopped a bit.
It was clear by afternoon, so in the evening I was able to plant some annuals in spots where I realized I needed them: I planted low-growing petunias in a ring around my peach tree, taller white nicotiana around my cherry tree, state fair zinnias near the front of the garden, and rocket snapdragons where I pulled up my lilies.
I saw the first flower buds on my roses, as well as on my niobe clematis, and little peppers on my pepper plants.
Monday, June 8, 2009
I've been busy in the garden, but haven't had time to post.
Now's about the time I realize where the summer gaps are in my garden, so I've been putting down some seeds in various places, including: verbascum (I have a few already, but they are hidden among my rose bushes), Pacific Giant delphiniums (which I grew a few years ago, and loved, but they are tough to keep), more oriental poppies (Brilliant Red), cleome (Fountain Blend), scarlet flax (amid my blue flax), more columbine (McKana's Giant), and Pastel Sunset zinnias. I also added some purple nicotiana to a corner of the garden, where my hollyhocks will take a while to establish.
On the veggie front: my peppers and sugar snap peas have bloomed, as has the mustard in my mesclun mix. Indeed, my daughter Sage loved the mustard, and ate most of it, as well as much of the rest of the lettuces I harvested last week. I clipped lots of spinach too. I put some basil into my slow-growing basil pot. A number of asparagus have come up, so I covered them with soil, all but the tips. I also hilled my potatoes a little more. My cantaloupe don't get enough sun, and are on their last legs. I guessed as much when I planted them, but I've run out of sunny spots.
In the last few days, I've done some other maintenance. I pinched back my asters so that they don't outgrow my picket fence (they were ungainly last year). I moved my one hydrangea to a sunnier spot, since though it looked healthy it was getting shaded out by my butterfly bush and baptisia. I divided some of my creeping phlox, now that they're done blooming. And I had to move one of my butterfly bushes to extend my pea-gravel path around the garden. Its leaves flopped, but I've given all the above good doses of seaweed fertilizer (Neptune's Harvest, rich in phosphate) to promote root growth.
My Siberian and Dutch irises are both blooming wonderfully. My Dutch ones are in the parking strip (verge, esplanade, whatever you call the strip between the sidewalk and the street), and are a mix of blues and yellows.
I'm really enjoying the Allium bulgaricum which I planted for the first time last fall. I'll have to order more.The tallest of my Dame's Rocket (hesperis) to open. I started a lot from direct seeding this year, so I should see a lot next year, as many have established themselves.
Glad the rain is coming! My garden sorely needs a good soak.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Monday, June 1, 2009
I've noticed a lot of fruit on my various fruit-bearing plants: peaches, blueberries, strawberries, and grapes, though either it's too early to tell about cherries, I don't know what to look for, or there won't be any fruit this year.