Thursday, June 14, 2012

harvesting early

The garden has been lush with strawberries, and I harvested my first sugar snap peas today, not even expecting to find them as I set about the string them a little higher on my front railing.  Delicious, each of them!

On the down side, I've also discovered peach leaf curl on my peach tree, and have been spraying it with a sulfur fungicide.  I had a bout of it last year, but just picked off the few infected leaves.  This year, it was too serious to not treat.

I'll try to post some beautiful photos in a day or two, but I've had trouble uploading them.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

After the Deluge

Since Saturday, Portland has been inundated with rain, some 6+ inches.  (An inch of rain is a foot of snow, goes the old saying:  imagine!)  Today it finally abated enough to allow me to get out into the garden, which was perfectly moist for weeding and transplanting.  So I planted some bush tomatoes, sweet peppers, and an herb pot of mint, basil and rosemary.  I also moved my Russian sage out from underneath the now-larger shrub rose, and underneath the front window.  Likewise, my Roseanne geranium was getting shaded out by my grape vine and strawberry patch, so I moved it to a sunnier spot.  I moved some peonies around so that they're now clustered in one area, rather than here and there around the garden.  Finally, there is always the job of discovering rudbeckia and liatris that pops up out of nowhere.

Friday, June 1, 2012

first strawberry

It looks like a bumper year for strawberries this year, and the first of mine has ripened!

Sugar Snap Peas

I usually grow my sugar snap peas in my raised bed, up a trellis, but this year I decided to grow them in pots on the front steps, and run them up the railings.  (I've started my green beans in there too, as well as some gladiolas and morning glory for decoration.)  Hopefully it'll work out that I can sit on my front steps and munch on snap peas.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

May showers

We had a dry April in Maine, but a wet May has produced lots of growth, and my garden is abundant with life.  As you can see below, the poppies and columbine have opened, as have the verbascum and sage.  Also open are chives, lupine, some flowering onions, geraniums, German iris, baptisia, some shrub roses, and a veronica. 

For some reason this morning, after a day or two of rain, the birds invaded my garden, and I saw a pair of goldfinches, a cardinal, a number of chickadees (or perhaps just the same one), and (below) a bluejay, perched upon a lovely birdhouse that my father-in-law bought for my daughter's birthday.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

May revise

We've had lots of rain recently, which has made weeding easier.  I'm now done with teaching for the semester, so I've had more time to spend in the garden.   So there's lots to report:

Veggies:  I've already harvested some (greenhouse-grown)  lettuce.  My spinach and kale are up and doing well.  I've  put in my summer crops, including tomatoes, celery, cukes, green beans and corn (new this year).  Also planted my potatoes, and put in a new "batch" of asparagus bare-root plants -- which necessitated clearing out a raised bed in the back yard previously dedicated to ornamentals.  It gets more sun now than when I built it, so I moved some shade-friendly plants (sweet woodruff, geranium, and ligularia) to more dappled spots in the front garden.

Flowers:  Moved my perennial bachelor buttons to the sidewalk strip, as they take up a lot of room and tended to overwhelm the area where they were.  Last fall I ripped out a lot of the yarrow in the sidewalk strip (it'll come back, alas), and created lots of space to put in a greater variety of plants.  So along with the bachelor buttons there's now a lot of lupine, day lilies, gayfeather, rudbeckia, and some others I'll identify later in the year.

Seeding:  I put in a lot of sunflower seeds here and there -- 5-6 foot giants.  We'll see how they do, and the squirrels have tended to find most of them in the past.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

seeds in the ground

Finally got around to doing some planting.

Well, I take that back. Last weekend I put my peas in the ground -- in pots so that I can grow snap peas up the front railing, and in the window box that's attached to my fence, so that I can trail the peas down and along the picket fence. What the hey.

Today, along with general Spring garden cleanup (mostly removing the leaf mulch from around the roses and the butterfly bushes), I prepared my raised bed with some lobster compost, then planted a mesclun mix, two types of carrots (little fingers and cosmic purple), Siberian kale, and giant winter spinach.

In my verge I also scattered the remained of the echinacea and rudbeckia seeds that I had collected last year and given away as stocking stuffers to friends and family. The remainder will hopefully fill out where I dug up a lot of the yarrow, which I'm getting tired of.

Alas, I was too busy to have started no seeds this year, so I guess I won't be eating my favorite cucumbers nor taking a shot at growing artichokes as an annual.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

This morning we got a light snowfall, just enough to make a nice contrast between the emerging bulbs and the white background. My wife took the best of the photos.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Crocuses in their high glory!

Monday, March 19, 2012

The new normal: early Spring

After a warm winter, my Spring bulbs are up early, including crocuses and irises. But my neighbor has also detected mosquitoes in her back yard, so I'm not sure I'm all that pleased with this early Spring. This is Maine, not Virginia.