The earlier tulips have already started to drop their petals, but the French Blend Rose tulips I planted last fall are just now at their best! I love the colors, and am considering planting only apricots and pastel pink tulips for next year.
Here is the support I built for the pumpkins. I have a feeling they will outgrow it before long! As you can see, I'm running behind and part of the garden hasn't been worked yet. The nights are still rather chilly, so I've been afraid to plant corn and beans yet. If the cold persists much longer I'll just have to plant and hope for the best, though. Our season is too short on both ends to allow for much delay.
The Fall bulb catalogs have started arrivng in the mail. I enjoy looking through them, but it's a little depressing to be planning for Fall planting right now! Lately, I've been daydreaming about starting an indoor window garden to get me through next winter. Maybe I'll share some of those ideas in my next post!
Just for the fun of it, I recently wrote up a list of all the flowers and herbs growing in and around my gardens. I decided to share it here just to give an idea of how much can be done in a small garden:
Biennials, Perennials, and Shrubs:
Evening Dame's Rocket
Crocus (Species and Dutch)
With the exception of the lilac, spirea, and 2 of the rose bushes, everything has been planted by me over the last 6 years. And all but the lilac and spirea are growing in 3 small gardens (and another one in the making!) in the front yard. Needless to say, I pay very little attention to planting directions when it comes to spacing! But the plants don't seem to mind being crowded. After all, that's how it is nature, and it helps keep down weeds and keeps the soil cool (almost an unnecessary precaution here anyway). During the long winters, I read every gardening book and seed catalog I can find, and by February I am so bored with winter, I feel like I can accomplish anything! And so, every year my gardens get bigger!
I didn't plan my garden. I never could make sense out of plant combinations and the color wheel. But I have always had a pretty good idea what I want my garden to look like, and just stick the plants in. Since I prefer pastels and the occasional red or black, it's hard to go wrong anyway (except with too much black, as I already mentioned in my last post! Having started with a very small garden and almost no knowlege of flowers, it has been (and still is!) quite an adventure, but part of what makes gardening so enjoyable is getting to know the plants you grow over the years!
Anyway...so much for all my rambling! I've been planting all week and am still only about half done! Here are some pictures...I love how the bean arbor is just visible through the trees!
My new rhubarb patch...
This little friend of mine found my wattle fence very interesting, and proceeded to take it apart and chew the sticks! :D
I don't have a whole lot to say, but wanted to share some more pictures of the flowers...it was 90 degrees on Thursday, then the next 2 nights we had a frost advisory! Needless to say, the 90 degrees was by far the most unusual! It hadn't been that warm in almost 3 years! I enjoyed it thoroughly, but my tulips didn't appreciate it at all. As a result, some of them are already dropping petals after less than a week in bloom. The heat really sped things up. The trees are almost all leafed out, and even my Queen of the Night tulips are in bloom (they are usually later). I've had them for 5 years now. They got somewhat smaller the second year, but have stayed the same ever since. They look slightly out of place among the brighter reds and pastels, but I don't have the heart to take them out. I've always been fascinated by "black" flowers, but they should definitely be used sparingly. Two years ago I had only the small flower garden, and in late July, "Black Boy" bachelor's buttons and "Rubenza" cosmos were the only things in bloom. It was fine on a sunny day, but looked rather depressing when it was cloudy! Just one of my many amusing blunders!
I'm completely puzzled about this lovely daffodil. It has never bloomed before, and I didn't plant any new daffodils last fall! Yet here it is!
The forget-me-nots are starting to open!
I've never seen strawberries bloom here in May before!
This week will be planting week, I hope, since the night temperatures finally seem to be moderating a little bit! Some of my plants are getting really anxious to get out of their pots!
Remember the bush that got crushed by the snow? It has recovered nicely! If anyone has any idea what it is, please let me know!
And just for fun, here are some of my girls. They enjoy the dandelions that I weed out of my gardens!
Just had to share some pictures of the tulips now in bloom! We had a shower a little while ago which seems to make the hyacinths even more fragrant.
Sometimes I think the best views of my garden are glimpses through the trees!
Some closeups...I love the soft pink and salmon-colored tulips!
And the bean arbor is almost finished...now to prepare the new garden there! The soil is quite rocky, but I'm hoping that lots of manure and maybe some added topsoil will improve it over time.
Well, our trip was cancelled, so I'm still here among my precious flowers. This is a really busy time in the gardens, so it's probably good that I'm not away for such a long time. As it is I'm rather behind! There is so much to do I hardly know where to begin! We just had 2 lovely cloudless days and I could hardly bear to be inside. I'm pretty well sunburned now, but that is a sign of the first real warm spring weather with me, so I don't mind a bit!
We did take a 2 day trip to Quebec City last week which was very pleasant. I enjoyed seeing the Montmorency Falls, Old Quebec, the Aquarium du Quebec, and the Musee de l'accordeon (in Montmagny). I was especially impressed by the Chateau Frotenac in Old Quebec. I can easliy imagine it surrounded by high stone walls and extensive gardens!
There were some lovely gardens outside Le Manoir Montmorency. Those tulips were only about 6 inches tall!
And I saw my first Lenten Roses (Hellebores) in the gardens outside the aquarium. I would like to add them to my gardens!
I'm still hoping to have an opportunity to visit the gardens I had promised pictures of, perhaps this August. Until then, you'll have to be content with pictures of my humble gardens. :)
The hyacinths are in their glory right now, and the first tulip opened this morning. And I have decided that I want more daffodils next year!
Some especially lovely heartease flowers...
In the vegetable garden, the onions are thriving, lettuce is coming up, and carrots and some peas are planted (I'll probably plant more peas in the next day or so). I would have liked to plant them sooner, but I've been very uncertain about what our weather intended to do! I just transplanted my broccoli plants yesterday and they have already lost a few leaves to one of my worst garden enemies, the snowshoe hare. We aren't on very friendly terms this time of year, because they seem to prefer my young plants to all the fresh green grass and dandelions! It is so frustrating to come out some morning and find a particularly strong plant that I had such high hopes for, left with nothing but its seed leaves! I usually win the battle by mixing cayenne pepper in water and giving them (the plants, I mean) a good shower.But it can be time consuming, especially if it rains often.
Snails are my other dreaded enemy, and they are already out in full force. I have lost countless cucumber and squash seedlings to the slimy beasts. This year I have started them in the greenhouse to give them a headstart. Once they have a set of true leaves they stand a much better chance.
Some of the plants still in the greenhouse...
And now I'm headed out for a walk in the woods to cut some small trees for my bean arbor! I will share some pictures of that when it's done.
Well, the past week or so has been unbelieveably rainy and we are expecting another 1-2 inches of rain tonight. I guess I'll just have to learn to like rain! At least it's not snow, right? But yesterday was beautiful and I did get some planting done. I'm trying wide raised beds in my vegetable garden this year. I should be able to plant more in less space (always important for me, since my garden plans always end up exceeding available space!) and hopefully use less compost/manure and less tilling (always by hand, so it's a big job!).
And look what else I just planted! I'm so excited!
The crocuses have pretty much finished blooming. We had some below-freezing temeratures overnight about a week ago and several flowers froze. I shouldn't complain, though. They did bloom for over 2 weeks! Now the Glory-of-the-snow has taken over, and the grape hyacinths and daffodils are starting to open.
The forget-me-nots seem to like the rain and have turned such a lovely green. I let them self-seed wherever they wanted last summer. They are going to be magical when in bloom along the new wattle fence!
This will probably be my last post for at least 2 weeks since I will be travelling. I'm a little nervous about leaving all my precious plant for so long, but my sister is going to be tending them for me. Thanks Dorothy! :) I just hope I don't miss seeing my tulips and hyacinths in bloom! The buds are just starting to show above the floiage this morning, and I caught myself telling them they have to wait for me!
Where am I going? I'm not telling yet, except to hint that I may have some very exciting pictures in my next blog post!
I am a passionate gardener and seed-saver, who also enjoys playing the violin and accordion, running, spending time with my 4 golden retrievers, keeping chickens, photography, and reading.