Last year, my Zone 6 garden had an especially early spring; by this time, I was seeing crocuses and reticulated irises in bloom, and fat buds on the hyacinths. Even the year before was an early spring — crocuses of yellow and purple had shown their colors, although I hadn’t yet planted the irises.
This year, things seem to be proceeding at a more normal pace — maybe even a bit behind the average. My usual early-blooming yellow crocuses are nowhere to be seen, and the only color (besides green) in my Early Spring Border are these two reticulated irises.
Although these are the only actual blooms so far, I can see the leafy green promise of daffodils, alliums, hyacinths, muscari, peonies, and a few tulips.
These next few weeks are when the garden really wakes from its long winter slumber. I’m looking forward to enjoying some less-frigid weekends outdoors, doing some spring cleanup and preparing the beds and borders for their chance to shine come April and May.
As always, many thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens for hosting Bloom Day on the 15th of each month!
The deer left me six dulce rojo paprika peppers by harvest time last fall. I’ve had them sitting in my kitchen, drying, for months now, and I finally decided that tonight was the night I’d put them through my spice grinder and turn them into a delicious spice.
I unintentionally made “pink paprika” by also including some seeds and ribs of the peppers — those inside bits can be hard to shake out of a dry pepper sometimes. Perhaps next time, I’ll slice them in half and remove the ribs and seeds before I dry them…?
At any rate, it definitely has a distinct smell and taste about it, and it’s just a little different from any store-bought paprika I’ve tried. I hadn’t been planning to buy any more seeds for this year’s garden, but I might have to try some different pepper varieties now.
The last couple of weeks have seen the weather reach the Average Extreme Minimum Temperature for my USDA Hardiness Zone (6a/b), rise back up to 50F for one rainy day, then go back to ice and sleet and snow.
As per usual for January, the only bloom in sight is my kalanchoe.
Monday morning finally, finally felt like autumn here in Zone 6. We’ve been enjoying an extension of the summer weather, mostly… although my garden has been looking like it’s just about done for a while now.
Honestly, I’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ when it comes to my garden this year. I remember that I’d decided this spring that, come fall, I wanted to plant some crocus sativus — the kind that produces saffron — but I never got around to ordering them, and I’m certainly not in the mood to plant them.
I need to take a day or three off work and do some serious weeding, on top of the usual fall cleanup. I haven’t been weeding regularly since midsummer, and it’s obvious. I just feel… overwhelmed.
My main goal has been to make my borders low-maintenance, and this is exactly why. I don’t need this stuff getting away from me for a couple weeks, and then me just giving up on it for the rest of the season.
There are a few bright spots amongst the Bermuda grass and the weeds and the overgrown ground cover, though.
For once, I’ve left a stand of Passion flower long enough for it to fruit. I’m not even sure if I have the yellow or the purple variety, but I’ll find out soon!
No freeze in the forecast for a good couple of weeks means all the green tomatoes still on the vines will likely ripen out of doors. October seems a bit late for my tomato harvest, but this is how it went last year, too.
While I’ve very much Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ regarding my plantings this year, thanks to the weeds and grasses overwhelming my sparse gardening schedule, I still went out on Bloom Day (with the Good Camera, no less) and documented what’s currently in bloom in my borders of benign neglect.
No long shots of well-manicured gardens this month; I’ve been slacking on weeding and maintenance, as often happens at the end of summer. So, without additional comment, here is what’s blooming in my Zone 6 garden this month.
I’m a little behind on my Bloom Day post this month, so without further ado, here’s what was in bloom as of four days ago:
From the number of blooms on this rose, you’d never know I moved it this spring.
Early Girl is probably about four feet tall — maybe taller — and has several fruits on the vine.
Most of the other varieties I planted also have little fruits — Black Krim, Sun Sugar, Ponderosa Red — but none are as far along as the aptly-named Early Girl.
I planted the remainder of the Ponderosa Red tomato plants that didn’t find a forever home with co-workers, so the final tomato plant count is:
- Four Ponderosa Red in the veggie garden
- One Ponderosa Red in a container
- One Black Krim in the garden
- One Sun Sugar (cherry) in the garden
- One Sun Sugar in a container
- One Yellow Pear in the garden (failing to thrive)
- One Yellow Pear in a container
- One Early Girl in the garden
Also in the vegetable garden: three Black Beauty eggplants, one Millionaire eggplant, and one cucumber.
Even though some of my seedlings didn’t make it (mostly basils and flowers), I’m pretty pleased with my vegetable garden so far this year.