Friday, May 29, 2009


Alas, I have been remiss in keeping up with the progress of the gardens. The spring blooms are all but gone now, leaving the front garden looking rather plain save for the centaurea and the few odd Iris that are coming out. It's definitely a transitional time there. In the back, however, all kinds of fun stuff is developing.

Last weekend (Memorial Day weekend), I bought several new plants plus a lot of supplies (soils, tomato cages, a flat-end shovel, gravel, etc.) and got to work. In the back along the house went foxglove, lupine, and astilbe. The astilbe were already in bloom and added instant punch to that area, not to mention it coordinated quite nicely with the centaurea already established there.

Another small plot was dug out to plant some of our pepper plants as an experiment. Unlike the broccoli which was just buried directly in the ground, I added manure and garden soil to the pepper plot, and created rows of mounds in which to plant. I still haven't gotten to the asparagus, and now I wonder if I will at all this year—it would certainly require a lot of digging, but we'll see. Maybe I'll try to get a few in the ground in the next few days. I also have a few little watermelon seedlings patiently waiting to go somewhere. I also placed two Queen of the Prairie in next to the fence for privacy since the label said they grow up to seven feet high, but subsequent research tells me I'd have been better off planting a bush or two instead, which I may still do. I am considering:

Physocarpus opulifolious
Variegated Weigela
Primrose Lilac
Kaleidoscope Butterfly Bush

And I'll probably poke around local nurseries and see what I can find. I wish I had done that when we first moved in; a bush would have been halfway there by now!

In the front I tucked in a couple Icelandic poppies and another quite grand plant whose name escapes me at the moment... will fill you in soon.

The seedlings I got from my cousin a few weeks ago are still wee, but hopefully growing. The one tomato I have left in the ground out front seems to be doing well.

Last evening I bought yet more tomato and pepper plants from a city-dwelling local enthusiast, so I need to find places for them. The ones got mail order were all planted last weekend in either containers or in the ground. We're planning on taking advantage of a sale going on in early June and getting six more plants. Are we crazy? You bet, but hopefully we will be flush in tomatoes and peppers well into winter (via freezing and canning).

I've run into my first snag. My roses have been attacked by the nasty sawfly larvae and I hand-picked many off the plants and squished 'em. I'm going to try a soapy water spray and hope for the best otherwise, but sadly many buds were already decimated by the evil varmints. Even more a shame is that because of some good pruning and fertilizing earlier in the year, the roses have really exploded, both in size and in bud production. I hope they will come out of this OK.

I do have photos—many, in fact—but won't be able to post them until this weekend. I have lots of beautiful things to show you!

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