Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Grape trellis

A beautiful summer day in Maine today (low 70s, low humidity) got me out in the garden, though I needed no excuse.  I got the idea (from a walk with my daughter yesterday evening) to string up my grape vine with green wire (see below), so that it has some sort of trellis to grow on, rather than just a post.  

I also moved a few plants around (two hydrangeas that were wilting in too much sun, and about 8 small liriope plants that were lost in a corner).  In the past few days, I've also been starting perennials from seed, planning for next year's garden.  (They go in in the fall, give me blooms next year.)  See below.My echinacea (below) and black-eyed susans are opening up. I've also had a buddleia (butterfly bush) and some of my russian sage (perovskia) start to bloom.

Friday, June 25, 2010


This evening, I took a few pictures of my garden.  Here's what turned out well enough to post.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Long-overdue garden work

It's been nearly two weeks since I've been able to spend any time in the garden. (My wife was away on a trip, and I was solo-parenting my five-year-old.) So there was a lot of work to be done. Here's what it looks like as of today:

I pulled all my tulips stalks & leaves, as well as most of the daffodils. My oriental poppies were also pretty brown.

My celandine and cinquefoil were back with a vengeance, especially the former, and I had to carefully weed around the snapdragons that I planted there.
I weeded and mulched the row of liriope along my neighbor's house. (It's his property, but it runs along my driveway on the backside of his house, so he lets me plant there.)

My lupines were covered with aphids, so I sprayed. And sprayed again.

New plantings:
Cleome where the two stella d'oros mentioned above were.
Nicotiana where I pulled out the last of the tulips underneath my cherry tree
Amaranthus (Love Lies Bleeding) in one of my window boxes, as well in my porch pots.

Seed starting:
Yes, seed starting in late June. I started some perennials in pots and flats: gaillardia, echinacea, hollyhock, rudbeckia, canterbury bells, and pyrethrum.  

My baby's breath recovered from their transplantings and are now in bloom.
I tempted fate again by moving a plant in bloom, this time a beautiful astilbe (shown below), as it was being hidden by my two Joe-Pye Weed plants.

Food report:
I planted bush beans to replace the sugar snap peas once they fade, as well as a Howden pumpkin and another cantaloupe seedling (well, they are more than seedlings at this point).
My blueberries are just starting to ripen
My cherries are good and ripe, and Sage has been enjoying them for the past four days.
Sage has been snacking on spinach, lettuce, and sugar snap peas from the raised bed.
I kind of lost track of many of my front-yard veggies, as my labels wore off. (I'm going to paint and label rocks with my daughter later this summer for next year's crop.)
Most of my spinach has bolted, as has my bok choi. I've heard that the stalks of bok choi are still tender even after bolting, so I'll have to try them.
My zucchini and some of my potatoes have bloomed.

New bloom report:
Baby's Breath
Campanula Glomerata 
Phlox (David, a white one)

Still blooming:
Some lupines (those that survived the aphid attack)

Plant sharing:
I dug out two of my stella d'oro daylilies to give to a new friend as a house-warming gift.

What happened to my gaillardia? I'm not great at plant identification, but I see no sign of them underneath my peach tree.
 I'm stumped. Now that my campanula glomerata has actually bloomed, it easily identifiable, but that means that something bloomed earlier this year that I misidentified as campanula glomerata. I'll have to go back to my garden books.)

More Sun:
The cable company came by the other day and trimmed some oak branches that were too close to their cables, which resulted in giving me a significant increase in morning sun at the northern end of my garden. What an unexpected gift!

Friday, June 11, 2010

more of the same

I've loved my campanula persicifolia so much I bought two more plants (with an early Father's Day gift certificate -- thanks Jen!) as well as some snapdragons to fill some holes in the garden.  I also threw down some extra bachelor button seeds (annuals), in hopes it's not too late for them to grow and bloom.

Also, I hilled up my potatoes, which seem to be doing great, though something nibbled on one of them.  So be it.

Oh, and I love my roses. They just keep getting better.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Back to the Garden; Fall bulb order

I've been home alone with my 5-year-old for the past week, so I haven't had much chance to get into the garden.  Fortunately it didn't need watering, what with all the overdue rain we've had lately.

Today I got a break from childcare duties, so I spent a few hours catching up on the garden.  I pulled up most of my grape hyacinth foliage, and replaced it with some blue-eyed verbena.  Very pretty.  I also realized my baby's breath was being crowded out by a lot of liatris along my front fence, so I moved my four plants to a bare spot on the sunny side of my peach tree.  They are almost in bloom, so it's not the best time to move them, but let's hope I treated them with tlc.  My neighbor gave me some morning glories she started, and I planted them so that they climb my grape vine and through my rose bushes.  Finally, I staked my pepper and tomato plants.

My Sea-Foam roses have finally opened. After three years establishing themselves, they are repaying my efforts in many lovely white/pink blossoms.  Wonderful.

A few days ago, I put in my order for Fall bulbs.  I usually assess my Spring blooms as they come up, to see what holes in the garden need filling, so by the time the bulb catalogs come, I'm ready with my order.  Here's what I'm looking forward to planting this Fall:

I didn't have the best of luck growing tete-a-tete narcissus in one spot in my garden, so this Fall I'm going to re-work the soil there and plant 50 iris reticulata (little guys).

I had one Blue Magic Dutch iris come up this year in my parking strip. I guess I planted more there, but I'm going to plant 100 of them underneath my front window.

50 Little Beauty tulips (a species tulip). I loved this year's blooms, but I only had 20 or so)

Around those tulips, I'll plant 100 allium ostrowskianum.  Say that three times fast.

My allium spaerocephalum looked wonderful for a short while, so I'll plant 100 more in front of my window.

20 Red Impression Tulips (Darwin hybrids) to go along my front fence.

I love allium bulgaricum, and ordered 20 more.

Finally, I plan on planting three Bowl of Beauty herbacious peonies in various sunny blank spots in the garden.  (Well, I'll have to make some blank spots.) 

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Rain, Finally

After two weeks, we finally got some rain today, good enough to water the tender roots on new shoots, which is good because I have a lot of them. But the rain didn't do much more than that.  I noticed that three inches down, the soil is still very dry.  We need a good day-long soaker.

I've been pulling up my tulips the past few days, now that the leaves are yellow.  I also dead-headed my bearded irises.