Monday, June 8, 2009

Holes in the garden; general update

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.

Some pix:

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.


  1. Your flowers are beautiful. I just began gardening this season, so I'm completely overwhelmed at all the flowers out there. It's wonderful to see the pictures, so many different ones.

  2. Thanks, Mary. After four years, this is the first year that I feel like my garden is "full," and that I now what I'm doing. There is always more to learn, of course, and for me that's in the vegetable department, which I'm doing seriously now for only the second year.

  3. David, excellent pictures and I much prefer the term "esplanade" for the parking strip!

    Good call on pruning those asters right now. That pruning is well timed as you should get more manageable "clumps" this fall!

    Mike S.

  4. Very true about the timing for pruning asters: I've been skimming The Well-Tended Perennial Garden again, to remind myself of seasonal tips like that one.

    "Esplanade" just seems too grand for my little parking strip.