Thursday, May 21, 2015


I'm glad I held off on transplanting the tomatoes, as the other night the temps dropped into the 30's. Not very springlike and definitely not tomato weather. This weekend looks hopeful, though.

Meanwhile, some things prefer the cool weather, like lettuce. I have tried growing it in containers before, but this year is the first time it has done well. I made "lettuce bowls" for those near and dear to me, using hanging planters so the yummies can be kept out of reach of wascally wabbits.

Peas also like cool weather, and for some reason, sparrows like pea plants. Last year they pretty much ruined the pea crop, so this year, when I noticed the damage, I dragged out some netting I bought 15+ years ago and had never used. This bit of ugliness is doing the trick, but it will also probably cause problems when the growing plants become entwined in it.

Infrastructure-wise, my SO and I finished putting up the movable fence, and we hope we won't have to move it again. The new panels are a result of shifting some beds to widen paths, plus adding another "column" of beds. I consider this array to be complete (famous last words).

The first set of fledglings are flying the nest. These robins seemed to be a single parent and an only child - no other family members appeared. If the battery in my camera had not chosen to poop out, I might have caught a shot of mom/dad feeding the youngster a worm.

The orchard is off to a good start, with one exception. There are even a few blossoms. Planting something new is always an experiment subject to gross error, but so far, so good.

The south side of the house has gone through a few permutations. Currently, there is a motley assortment of perennials, including catmint, which seems bent on taking over the world. I may just let it duke it out with the hysop, bee balm, coneflower, and whatever else is there.

Not so world-dominating are the rhododendron in front of the house. Of the original three plants, only one and a half remain. I hope this year's display is not its swan song.

The sidewalk bed looks very full this year, mostly due to the volunteer violets and columbine. I added calendula and alyssum to help out. And now that it is full, I've seen some new (to me) sedum I would like to add.

Too many plants, not enough room.

Tuesday, May 05, 2015


Lately, I have been congratulating myself for not starting my garden transplants too early. My rule of thumb regarding tomatoes and peppers is to transplant them only when night temperatures remain above 50 degrees. That is usually mid to late May. So, of course, we are experiencing those ideal temps NOW, when my plants are still a bit too bitty for transplanting.

Peppers, tomatoes, marigolds, calendula, hollyhock, Mexican sunflower, basil, kale, parsley, zinnias

Also, the garden fence is still not in place, so I am loathe to transplant the broccoli or plant anything a woodchuck might favor. And it is raining, which makes it difficult to do much of anything outside besides let the seedlings harden off. So maybe it is a good day to hit Home Depot and purchase some supplies, pot up the tomatoes, and hunker down until the sun shines again.

Monday, May 04, 2015

Pinks and Blues

Except for the dandelions, the yellows of spring are starting to give way to the pinks and blues. Like the rhododendron, these bloomers are outdoing themselves this year. Apologies for the quality of the pictures (and please excuse the weeds).

If I have one major gardening regret, it is that I don't seem to have a central location for the proper names of the denizens of my yard. (And I'm too lazy to look them up.)

Redbud (one of three)

Sand cherry bush (with deceased asplenifolia to the left)

Grape hyacinth

Volunteer violets

Creeping phlox

Bleeding heart

This little vine is not blooming yet (obviously), but it deserves mentioning because, quite frankly, I had given up hope that it would survive. This poor thing has been planted and transplanted and eaten by bunnies in its short life. And yet, here it is. Life will out.

Clematis Niobe, risen from the dead