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Posts Tagged ‘flower garden’

I left for a three+ week trip to Mongolia on the 7th of July and got back on the 30th. The vegetable garden had, of course, exploded with  growth while I was gone. I’ve grown some vegies before, but never on this scale. Things got busy, painting-wise and then, last week, I was at the opening weekend of the Society of Animal Artists annual juried show, Art and the Animal, which I finally got into after five years of trying. All this to say why there haven’t been any posts for awhile.

Things are slowing down now. We got a great zucchini soup recipe from our neighbor, along with a jar of the finished product, which used some zucchini that we foisted on gave them. For a joke I had also posted an offer for zucchini on my Facebook newsfeed and, to my utter surprise, two people took me up on it since their plants hadn’t done well this year. Must be a first of some kind.

In the Live and Learn Department:

-Don’t use bird netting to cover the bean and pea teepees because it makes it impossible to get to the beans and peas that are within the teepee.

-In fact, don’t use teepees for serious food-growing. They look really cool, but are an inefficient use of the available space.

-Don’t over-water the tomatoes and don’t plant them so close together. Some of the plants are HUGE, but with very little fruit. I’m trying to move the branches with fruit so that they get as much sun as possible, but the plants needed a lot more room and also much bigger supports. This has been the year to learn what does and doesn’t work in our particular micro-climate.

-Try what you want even if you’re told it won’t work. Like the heritage tomatoes that we were told wouldn’t do much so close to the coast. Not enough warm days. We aren’t going to get a lot (see above), but there will be a few tomatoes from each plant. Standard variety Early Girl will be, as expected, the most productive, but I think we’ll be having fried green tomatoes in the not-too-distant future.

The peas, beans, carrots and beets are done  and harvested. Summer squash plants still producing, but it’s really been raining today so I suspect that it’s going to be a race with mildew now. Our little patch of salad greens is still producing after all this time. We’ve been pulling shallots and green onions for a few weeks now. Need to check the garlic. The breadseed poppies are done and I’ve cut the first seed heads.

We have LOTS of beans in the freezer. Four varieties: Blue Lake, Romano, Scarlet Emperor and  Purple-podded pole beans.

Also a good supply of peas: Progress No.9 and Blauschokker blue-podded peas.

In the next couple of weeks we’ll get the winter garden in: more greens, plus carrots, beets, radishes, winter squash and peas.

As of this morning we have enough Himalayan blackberries for a big batch of jam and enough raspberries for a decent batch. No fruit from the gooseberries this year.

A decent crop of apples are still on the trees and espalier. Learned last year not to leave them on the trees too long. I had to prune the espaliers hard over the winter to get the branches under control and supported, so not as many apples this year.

Photos from the last day or so:

Vegetable garden on right, looking south

Vegetable garden on right and to back, looking south

Vegetable garden, south side

Vegetable garden, south side

Vegetable garden with breadseed poppies

Vegetable garden with breadseed poppies

Tropical garden and vegetable garden, looking east

Tropical garden and vegetable garden, looking east

Tropical garden, looking west

Tropical garden, looking west

Tropical garden, acanthus with nasturtium growing into it

Tropical garden, acanthus with nasturtium growing into it

Rose border, east side, with Alexander

Rose border, east side, with Alexander

Rose border, looking south, new path

Rose border, looking south, new path

Red dahlia, rose border, east side

Red dahlia, rose border, east side

Lily

Lily 'Arena'

Striped rose, Purple tiger with Sweet William

Striped rose, 'Purple Tiger' (Jackson & Perkins) with Sweet William

Rose

Rose 'Citrus Splash' (Jackson & Perkins)

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It’s Memorial Day and the sun has finally come out for awhile after three days of overcast, extended even out to areas where it’s “always sunny”, like Blue Lake and Fieldbrook.  I’ve has a cold for the last couple of days, so not getting anything done in the yard. David, however, has gotten the OSB “floor” down for my new potting area on the north side of the house. Next step will be to move the potting table, the pots, tools, etc. Then I can finally get some seeds started.Potting areaThings are really starting to burst into bloom now.

Geranium 'Splish Splash', one of my favorites

Geranium 'Splish Splash', one of my favorites and it's self-seeding!

Cranesbill 'Ballerina'

Cranesbill 'Ballerina'

Red Baron grass

Red Baron grass

Climbing rose 'Dublin Bay'; might be the Best Red Rose Ever

Climbing rose 'Dublin Bay'; might be the Best Red Rose Ever

English rose 'Brother Caedfael'

English rose 'Brother Caedfael'

English rose 'Charles Rennie MacIntosh'

English rose 'Charles Rennie Mackintosh'

Rose 'Ispahan'

Rose 'Ispahan'

Rose 'Fantin Latour'; one of my all time favorites

Rose 'Fantin Latour'; one of my all time favorites

Rose 'Moonlight'; one of the Vintage Gardens roses I decided to try

Rose 'Moonlight'; one of the Vintage Gardens roses I decided to try

Looking back towards the house; veg  garden in foreground

Looking back towards the house; veg garden in foreground

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I really wanted to get the rest of the first round of seeds planted in the vegetable garden so that I can move on to the ten or so other things that are first on my list of things to do around the property.

Yesterday we got the small logs and branches from part of a tree we had to have taken down last year moved out around the edge of the pond. In the afternoon, Holly and Laura came by. They got the tour and a bunch of plants, mostly volunteers that needed new homes.

Sweet Williams

Sweet Williams

The female belted-kingfisher came by yesterday and caught herself what looked to be one the bigger mosquito fish. This morning I heard a familiar bird sound. looked out and there at the seed feeder was a male black-headed grosbeak! They’re one of our favorites.

Walked the dog this morning. It was overcast when we left the house and sunny by the time we got back. Was out in the garden by 10:30. Quit about 3:30. David got soaker hose in to all the newly planted beds.

Root vegetable bed

Root vegetable bed

Planted today:

From John Scheepers-

Purple Dragon Carrots

Atomic Red Carrots

Snow White Carrots

White Icicle Radishes

Pink Celebration Radishes

Petit Pois Precoville Peas

Vernandon Bush Beans

Galia Melon

Summertime Lettuce

Merlot Batavian Lettuce

Blushed Butter Cos Lettuce

Flashy Troutback Lettuce

Alex supervises the installation of the soaker hose

Alex supervises the installation of the soaker hose

From Renee’s Garden-

Easter Egg II Radishes

Petit Dejeuner French Breakfast Radishes

Paris Market Mix Baby Mesclum Salad

From Squirrel’s Choice-

Champion Radishes

Early Wonder Table Beets

SMR 58 Pickling Cucumbers

From Seeds of Change-

Haricot Vert “Maxibel” Bush Beans

From Territorial Seed Company-

Red Samurai Carrots

Covering the bed with a little straw to discourage the cats

Covering the bed with a little straw to discourage the cats

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Got the bed on the west wall of my studio cleaned up yesterday and planted two David Austin English roses that were part of the batch I got from Jackson & Perkins: Janet and Bishop’s Castle.

Planted Abraham Darby out in the rose border on the edge of where the septic tank is buried. We’ll put a couple of chairs there and create a destination off the main path since I don’t want to plant anything there. There’s also a Graham Thomas rose. The area is sort of a transition between the more traditional English style mixed border with my striped rose collection and the tropical garden.

Nasturtiums starting to come up. Tithonias are up. Sunroses are blooming. Gertrude Jekyll rose has three blooms, the first rose of the year to flower. Goldflame honeysuckle is starting. Some tulips still going, but most starting to fade. Lilies are up. Sarah Berhardt herbacious peony is up, an experiment. I have no idea if it will bloom, but who knows what will bloom where anymore.

Quite a few frogs out down at the pond and saw a salamander swimming around, along with some big tadpoles.

American goldfinches are back. I often think “screaming yellow zonkers” when I see the bright yellow males. Maybe some purple or house finches too. Violet-green swallows were swooping around this afternoon.

The last three roses (for the time being ;0) ) arrived from Rogue Valley Roses a few days ago: Rosa chinensis mutabilis, The Yeoman and the stripped Variegata de Bologna, which I planted today. Still thinking about where to put to the first two.

Yesterday and this morning, we moved all the plants that Genvieve pointed out were in the wrong places, except the kiwis. The south side of the yard should flow much better now, like at all. It looks like the English laurel that the gopher got to is going to survive.

David has been re-doing the watering system out front and has made good progress. Every rose gets its own drip and there are around two dozen new ones. We’re using 1/4″ soaker tubing for the vegetable beds and he got all that done for the areas that have been planted.

I picked up some six packs on Friday and got them all in today:

1 Foxy foxglove

3 Sonata Mix Cosmos

2 Dwarf Snapdragons (They told me at Miller Farms that no one is offering snapdragons this year. One flat of Rocket, which sold out right away and now only the dwarf variety. Very odd.)

And, the jackpot: 2 six-packs of Verbascum “Southern Charm”. I bought one when we lived in the Victorian. It was in that Austin rose border and stood out so much that I got asked about it more than the roses. It’s only been available, at a stiff price, from Burpee, as in $19 for three tiny plants, which I sprung for a couple of years ago. Sometimes there is a plant that you just Have To Have. And now I have 12 out front. Life is good.

David loves Moonflowers and I love Morning Glories, so I soaked the seeds last night a put a row of each along the west facing fence in front. Also planted a row of giant sunflowers, Heirloom Titan. The packet (Renee’s Garden) says 12-14′. I hope.

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Got the new tomato plants in this afternoon:

2 Red Cherry Large

1 Early Girl (was supposed to replace the one that croaked, but it’s now re-sprouting, so we have two)

1 Green Zebra  (who could resist?)

1 Black Tomato (dark red/maroon, actually)

1 ‘Old German’ (heritage type; who knows what it will be, but that’s half the fun)

The above join:

1 Gold Nugget

1 Moonglow

3 Roma

3 Eureka Mist (there are a couple of special types bred for our mild northcoast summers)

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Beans leafing out, second batch of peas up

Photos taken late this afternoon:

garden-1Persephone, aka The Princess, takes possession of the big teepee.

garden-4Looking south. Canes of Rosa moyesii ‘Geranium’ in middle

red-tailed-hawkThen a red-tailed hawk circled over us.

garden-with-hawkHawk overhead. Niki down below. Looking east.

garden-2The Tropical Garden looking west with Estelle Rjinveld tulips in foreground.

garden-3Sunroses and azalea with silly garden bird I got today at the hardware store.

east-sideEast side of bamboo fence with rhodie and cherry tree in bloom.

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