Tuesday, June 18, 2013

In the Garden


 LUCY BURDETTE:  I don't know about the rest of you, but our garden seems to be off to a slooooowwww start this year. We haven't had a single radish, the asparagus were spotty, and we've harvested no lettuce. I'm blaming it on the cool spring (except for that one steamy weekend) and maybe even the aftereffects of Sandy.

We did have some beautiful iris and the roses are coming on strong.
But here's the most delightful surprise of the season--it hitchhiked into our yard in a Mother's Day pot a few years ago and now they've seeded themselves out the front door. Tonka checks every time he goes out to see if one might be ready for the right dog...

Any highlights in your spring yards and gardens?

HALLIE EPHRON: I feel as if my garden is about to devour my yard. The bushes (forsythia, Japanese quince, viburnum) are in desperate need to trimming -- nay hacking -- and all I'm doing is watching it rain.
Our excitement was a swarm of thousands of bees that came swooping into our yard, hovered like black blanket over the driveway, and then settled into the viburnum. A local beekeeper arrived a day later, sawed off the branch, scooped up the bees, and took them off to rejuvenate an ailing hive she had. At last report they were settling in well.

RHYS BOWEN: I returned home from a month away to find the gardener had turned off the sprinkler system on his last visit so everything looked very sad and dry. It's perking up again but we're already into the California summer when most plants are done flowering and slipping into survival mode. Roses would be flourishing if the deer hadn't knocked down the back fence and can now walk in unhindered from the open space around us. Lately I'm craving a house that is not on a hill and could have a real garden with soil and plants and veggies.

ROSEMARY HARRIS: My garden's been heavenly. I was afraid that I'd miss a lot when I was in Italy but that didn't happen. Of course the bamboo sot up and threatened to take over in my absence, so instead of just kicking over the shoots we had to saw some of them, but it wasn't nearly as bad as having a garden where you have to mow the lawn all the time. Like clockwork - forsythia, dogwoods, azaleas, pieris, spirea, peonies, viburnum, rhodys, weigela. Right now the mountain laurels are taking a hammering from the rain so they may be gone by tomorrow. This year's surprise - the doublefile viburnum kicked butt. So glorious I'm searching for a couple more.

One thing...for next year...someone stop me before I start seeds again. They never work out for me. Something always happens and they wind up in the compost.
HANK PHILLIPI RYAN: Oh, because of the rain, ours is LUSH and gorgeous and green--so wonderful to see! I'm happy about it every day. Our tulips were fabulous--it's always such fun to pick them, and still have many outside.  (I always seem to be at Malice at the height of the tulips, so funny.)  The peonies went CRAZY..buds one day, then full bloom the next, sigh.
I love how they all go in sequence..the crocuses, then the tulips, and the milions of forget me nots and lilies of the valley. Big stands of those thin-thin-thin yellow iris. The roses are about to be a bonanza, cannot wait to see. RO, our viburnum has some hideous malady, I think...can you come over?

And avoiding impatiens this year because of the rampaging--what is it? Downy something disease. 

DEBORAH CROMBIE: It's hovering near 100 in north Texas this last week, our big spring flush is long gone and now we are going into survival mode. June 1st we started once-a-week watering restrictions.  Most of our plants are native perennials so we'll have something blooming all summer, regardless. Our coneflowers are in full bloom now. The roses will repeat bloom all summer. Waiting for the black-eyed Susans to burst out any day, and one of the big glories of our summer, the bloom of the big crepe myrtle in front of our house. Many varieties start blooming as early as mid-May, but for some reason ours never flowers until the end of June. But from then it will be gorgeous until October.

WHAT'S BLOOMING (OR NOT) IN YOUR GARDEN?

35 comments:

Joan Emerson said...

Alas, the daffodils have come and gone, but the roses are blooming, the lilacs are gearing up to bloom again, the pink lilies are nodding around the flowerbed, and there’s a profusion of white petunias at the door. The herb garden is threatening to take over the world; the strawberries are growing and the cabbage is doing really well . . . but the peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, and asparagus are all slowpokes this year . . . . Since the deer haven’t figured out how to open the garden gate [yet], they haven’t eaten all the vegetables!

Still in the Doghouse Jack said...

Our garden currently suffers from My Big Mouth. My wife was planting annuals on our sloped garden two weeks ago, and watching her, I suggested she wasn't leaving enough of a depression to keep water around the new seedlings. Barb stood up and said, "No more gardening for me."

I'm hoping her nasty work schedule was partly to blame. She's more relaxed now, and yesterday bought more annuals. Keep your fingers crossed for me ...

Edith Maxwell said...

It's been a fabulous salad year so far. Mesclun greens and nice full heads of red and green romaines and buttercrunch in my garden. The garlic looks better than it has in years and I just clipped off a couple dozen scapes yesterday. Mmmm. It's been our first spring and in this house and we were stunned by the beauty of the huge dogwood in bloom right outside the deck!

Jack - funny. Careful about being overly supervisory!

Kristi said...
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Karen in Ohio said...

This has been a spectacular spring in southwestern Ohio. Right now the daylilies are opening, with the Stella d'Oros leading the way. The purple coneflowers are about to open, and the campanula are lushly underlining the equally lush Jackmanii clematis climbing up the wall of the garage.

In my veggie garden we harvested French breakfast radishes, lots of lettuces and spinach, and the most strawberries so far. The carrots, beets, peas, and spring onions should all be ready for harvest very soon. The beans were climbing for the clouds the last time I saw them, and the tomatoes were knee high. Should be a good year, as long as we don't get the extreme heat and drought we've had for the last few years.

I haven't checked the blackberry bushes yet, but hope we will have a good crop this year. Last year we had about 15 acres of wild bushes, but I was out of town for most of the picking season. This year I'll be here, so of course there won't be any berries, right?

Sandi said...

I love our backyard! Peonies are still lush, including a couple from my dad's parents, and one that's been in my mom's family for over 100 years. My favorite color right now comes from the bright orange poppies and the yellow evening primrose that a bird deposited here a decade ago. We've moved it around so now we have clumps of color around the yard. Other than annuals, there's still a lot of green. We have 15 - 20 varieties of hostas, some yellow-green feverfew, drifts of herbs, several varieties of sedum, and the remains of lily of the valley and bleeding hearts, not to mention everything that's waiting to bloom. There's so much out there!

Deb Romano said...

Oh, gee, yeah...gardens. I USED to have a nice array of flowering plants, and some prolific tomato plants,too, on my deck. Then "stuff" happened, and my green thumbs turned gray.

This might be the year to support my local farmer, and go pick up some of her beautiful pre-planted flower pots. While I'm there I can buy some of her fresh veggies, too.

Karen in Ohio said...

We had not had any deer damage this year at all. Until today. Just went out to check the progress of the phlox and daylilies, and the darn deer have bitten the tops out of them AGAIN.

I spray Liquid Fence every couple weeks, but we've had a bunch of rain lately. Durn. Every year, the same thing.

Kaye Barley said...

I have loved how pretty our garden has been this year. Things up here in the mountains bloom so much later than other places, I'm always nervous that they're not going to do anything. But then, of course, they bloom and life is good. Our peonies have never been so gorgeous - just spectacular and I can't walk by them without taking a beezillion pictures. The rhododendron blooms are now beginning to slow down, just in time for the mountain laurel to show its glory. The stargazer lilies are magnificent, but the daylilies are still just buds. The hostas are all HUGE. And over the weekend we filled two raised beds that Donald built with a lot of new stuff - I love this time of year in the mountains. Our growing season is so short we all seem to go nuts while it's happening.

Lucy Burdette aka Roberta Isleib said...

Joan, your garden sounds glorious!

Ha, ha Jack, you've been married long enough to know not to offer tips when your wife is working:). Hope you're out of the doghouse soon...

Edith, I'm envious of your romaine. That just won't grow in our garden!

Lucy Burdette aka Roberta Isleib said...

Karen and Kaye, your gardens sound amazing!

We don't get too many deer, but we do have woodchucks. They have already come in and mowed down my hub's sunflowers. He is threatening to put us all on a schedule to sit out there with a BB gun...

Brenda Buchanan said...

Our vegetable garden is flourishing, both what we planted from seed (lettuces, spinach, chard, carrots, shallots) and what we bought as seedlings and planted about a month ago (tomatoes, eggplant, cukes, bok choy). We're eating lettuce and spinach pretty regularly now.

We use raised beds, which drain well despite all the rain.

Our flowers and shrubs are also going gangbusters: the tulips were lovely, the rhodys and azalea spectacular, the viburnum is gorgeous and I think the hydrangea will be stunning when the flowers form.

The thing about gardens is how amazed they make you feel (perhaps this is especially true for Mainers). After a hellish winter, all this beauty emerges and it just takes your breath away.

Hallie, that bee swarm story is wild! Good for the bees! Good that you found a beekeeper to give them a new home!


Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

Hmm..vegetables..we don't do that, but it's such a cool thing.When I lived in Atlanta, I had a big vegetable garden, and every time I picked something, I'd feel so virtuous! And like I'd really beaten the system, you know?

Reine said...

The most exciting addition to our back yard garden was the snakeskin that a rattler shed and wrapped itself around the wheel of the cart that was supposed to hold our cherry tomatoes.

Lots of quail out back. No bobcats lounging in the tree this spring. Yet. A few giant lizards. The orange truth it did not blossom this year. I'm sure it's psychological.

Hank, I am inspired to start composting. Maybe that will grow?

Reine said...

The orange tree did not blossom... speech-to-text giving me a hard time, still. Sorry.

Lola the Locavore said...
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Hallie Ephron said...

Your garden sounds wonderful, To.

Wasn't Ohio having a drought not too long ago, Karen? Happy to hear all is lush.

The first of my tiny Alpine strawberrie is ripe. Hoping to pop it in my mouth before a squirrel susses it out.

And this blog inspired me to cut back one of the viburnums.

Hallie Ephron said...

Not To... Ro. But you knew that.

Linda Rodriguez said...

All your gardens sound lovely. Mine is loving the rain after a couple years of extreme drought. My sage was so glorious this year. I need to divide it, but I loved the huge display of gorgeous purple blooms. The periwinkle and violets carpeted my shady yard with blooms.

My peonies went to town, but are gone now. The roses are still glorious. Siberian iris and bearded iris come and gone. I've got daylilies just starting to bloom right now, though the native ditch lilies won't bloom for several more weeks. Most of my native plants bloom later, but evening primrose is going now and some other things in the big rain garden in my backyard. We've got wild strawberries fruiting now, as are the mulberry trees. Though I lost my big strawberry patch in the drought and haven't the heart to replant it.

The bachelor's button, zinnia, basil, borage, cosmos, and forget-me-nots that we planted from seed are up and going strong. It's been too cool and rainy for much luck with vegetables yet, though, but my herb garden is doing so well that I'll have to hack lots away soon.

And of course, the honeysuckle's blooming now with that lovely scent. Ben calls it "the scent of defeat," because it's our worst invasive plant. But I love the smell and flowers right now. In a few weeks, I'll have to start hacking away at that, as well.

Lisa Alber said...

Oh, I pine for a proper garden! I live in a condo with a semi-shady balcony...That said, day lilies and a gold drop hosta are blooming, plus a stalky purple flower and the violas.

On Sunday, I hung out at my friend's veggie garden helping her pick peas and bok choy. Tonight: curry stir fry!

Deb said...

Lisa Abler, if you're pining, you can come work in my garden anytime:-)

Lisa Alber said...

Hah, Deb...I don't exactly pine for the Texas heat. :-)

(Forgot to mention fuschias too.)

Lucy Burdette aka Roberta Isleib said...

Reine, I wondered what an orange truth plant was--thought it was such a cool name!

Linda, so sad about your strawberry patch:(

Karen in Ohio said...

If anyone would like forget-me-not seeds, let me know. I have an extremely prolific strain here, and I have collected the seeds now for almost twenty years.

Kaye Barley said...

OH! Karen, I would love some, please!!!

Karen in Ohio said...

Kaye, private message me your address on Facebook, okay? (Maslowski)

Lexie's Mom said...

Reading this post makes me want, desperately want, to plant a vegetable garden. And then I remember--my light green thumb does not seem to extend to food-bearing plants. Ah, well. But the weigela has grown by another two feet, at least, and the transplanted irises and lilacs seem to be settling in nicely. I would add that a very large, goofy, loud German Shepherd does wonders for keeping the woodchucks and deer far away from the garden--they peek out from the woods, but don't come any closer.

Lucy Burdette aka Roberta Isleib said...

Hmmm, Lexie's Mom, we have a loud, goofy Australian shepherd, but he doesn't seem to be on duty that much. He pretty much sticks with me!

Reine said...

Roberta, my speech-to-text is my backup psychotherapist. Last night I was writing an article about the DSM-5. I said, "They are now described and classified as a single disorder on a sliding scale of severity. Is that desirable?" Speech-To-Text wrote, "You are now subscribed to a classy disorder where you can slide severely, but is that desirable?"

Terry Ambrose said...

Living in CA, we do have room for the vegetables in the fridge, but not in a garden! Besides, we had our backyard landscaped last year and the watering system that was so state-of-the-art and water-conscious sucks.

Kristi said...

Oh, Reine... I want to subscribe to a classy disorder, too! Will you send me a form?????? It sounds SO desirable!

Reine said...

Oh, Kristi... you slid in. It's automatic when you sit on the scale! Welcome. Your classy disorder awaits.

Lucy Burdette aka Roberta Isleib said...

put me in the classy disorder subgroup too please:)

Reine said...

Lucy/Roberta, you are already here! You slid right in on the last axis, sub-group 4, compulsive cook syndrome with happy mood. You made it just in time. There will be no more axis manipulation. The good news is can always slide. :)

Reine said...

PS: Lucy/Roberta, I wanted to go with Compulsive Chef Disorder, but the alliteration subcommittee voted me down.