Tulip ‘Angelique,’ the tree peony, the earliest red herbaceous peonies, and the dogwood blooms have all faded. Now my Zone 6 garden is preparing for the next wave of awesomeness.
Starting along the front fence, where passersby are most likely to enjoy the view for a few seconds as they speed past…
The Amur Honeysuckle is in bloom and throwing a magnificent scent.
The herbaceous peonies have been ready to pop for a couple of weeks, it seems.
The front fence used to be more festive in the spring, until one landscaper a couple years back thought my oriental poppies looked like broadleaf weeds and nuked them with Round-Up, and overmulched my Siberian Irises such that most of them didn’t make it. The ones that did make it got weed-whacked by our lawn guys earlier this spring; apparently, they looked like grass to someone.
Chalk it up to life experience, and the knowledge that gardens are mutable and ever-changing, anyway. Moving on… (more…)
It’s quite possible that I’m trying to make my vegetable garden a smidge too crowded this year, even with the expansion from rounded to rectangle.
Im going to see if cucumbers will climb some twine supports up our decorative (read: nonfunctional) lamppost, and the zucchini will be growing up some sort of teepee or lean-to with twine supports. I bought spiral stakes for my tomatoes and eggplants this year, so that should keep crazy vining craziness in check. I may have too many varieties of basil… but I invariably lose a plant or two at some point, so I consider it insurance. (Plus, I’m planning to plant a few extras in containers, just in case.)
My son and I planted some carrots today: Bolero and Nelson. One is an early variety, and the other takes longer to mature. I’m planning to plant in shifts, so we have a longer harvest.
Some plants, like the paprika peppers, will go in the front garden (aka the cottage garden). Others will go in containers to be placed in various sunny spots where I won’t forget to water them regularly.
Here we go…
This is the before and after of my modest vegetable garden plot. What was once a bare spot where a hydrangea and some annuals grew long ago has expanded over the past few years — and will likely continue to expand over time.
I had intended to get a couple bags of compost from the garden center of some box store to mix in with my soil, but it’s too late for that now. I should have already planted my carrots; instead, Connor and I will be sowing them tomorrow.
It’s been a chilly and wet May here in NW Ohio, and I’m not sure when Planting Weekend will be, but I’m glad to have the garden ready to go whenever I’m confident that we’ve seen the last frost.
Technically, Bloom Day was two days ago, but better late than never, yes? I actually did get out to take these photos on the 15th, but didn’t get around to posting them until tonight.
Here in my NW Ohio Zone 6 garden, spring seems to be a good week or two ahead of schedule. One day last week, all the spring bulbs decided it was time to bloom. (I mean that, too — I left for work at 8am to tightly closed daffodil buds and came home at 5pm to a yard full of nodding yellow heads.)
I don’t know what all these varieties are, as they came with the house when we moved in some four years back, but here they are:
I brought my strawberry bucket into my unheated sunroom last fall to overwinter. These beauties must be enjoying the greenhouse effect of the windows, as they’re already in bloom, just as the daffodils and hyacinths and cherry blossoms are doing their thing outside.
I did a little research to learn whether strawberry plants need pollinators, and the answer is — not really? The dark yellow bits need to come into contact with the light yellow center, whether by wind or other means. One gardener wrote that he usually rubs two blooms together, but that some people use a paintbrush to get the pollen where it needs to go.
After I took this photo, I pollinated the blossom by kind of pushing the pollen into place with my fingers. The next day, the petals were dropping and the center part was getting ready to strawberry itself.
Might be an extra bit of work on my part, but if I keep the strawberry bucket in the sunroom, I won’t have to worry about birds eating my damn berries.
I only spent two hours weeding and cleaning up today, but I could easily have spent all day, if I’d had the time.
My main goal was to clean up the “tulip bed,” above. I call it the tulip bed because I planted some couple dozen Angelique peony-flowering tulips in the border a couple autumns ago. Last spring, deer ate the tops off of two-thirds of them. Earlier this spring, deer and other wildlife just straight up ate the bulbs right out of the ground. I have about six left, and I intend to use this photo as a reference for where I should plant some more bulbs come this fall.
I spent some quality time weeding here, then pulling up last year’s stems of Solomon’s Seal in the next border over, along with pulling the most egregious of the weeds there. I also swung through the front garden (what I pompously call the Cottage Garden, although it really looks nothing like one yet) and did some spring triage: pulling up skeletons of last year’s annuals, making sure weeds don’t choke out new growth from peonies and yarrow, that sort of thing.
I’m planning a gardening morning off of work in a couple of weeks, but I’m chomping at the bit to get out there and tackle some more tasks: plants I’d like to move, more weeding, some pruning, etc.
When we moved into this house four years ago, I didn’t exactly go from zero to gardener in a season. It took me a year or two to ramp up and grow into it. Now, though… this is a full-fledged hobby of mine, disguised as yardwork.
I decided over the winter that I need to move all the plantings out of my current rose border and let it grass over. I have more borders than I can manage, honestly, and that one just doesn’t have the impact that the others do. So, two unidentified white climbing roses and one Dortmund climbing rose need to find new homes, plus a hosta and a smattering of white irises that I only recently divided.
This morning was the perfect day to move a rose: cool and overcast, with the forsythia in bloom, coming off of a few solid days of soaking rain.
That doesn’t mean I wasn’t still nervous as hell. I’ve never moved a rose before, and I didn’t want to kill my favorite long-bloomer. But I went for it, anyway.