Oh, for days twice as long! Yet these approach the longest days of the year.
At last, a long overdue update! I guess it hasn't really been that long, but everything grows so fast this time of year. We are having a couple of really hot days (90 today!) and I am enjoying thoroughly it. It takes a while to get the winter chill out of my bones, so this heat feels really good right now! There has been plenty to keep me busy. I spent most of yesterday transplanting, but if you look inside the greenhouse, it looks like I've barely made any progress at all! I've also been a little hesitant about planting because a groundhog has made his home right behind the flower garden and seems to think I planted it all for him! I've been trying all kinds of natural repellents, which seems to be helping somewhat, but I'm still hoping to get rid of him permanently. He has about 6 holes under our house, which probably isn't doing the foundation any good!
Here's what's in bloom right now...
I have suddenly gone from wondering if I had started enough plants, to wondering where I'm going to put them all!
A few of the Castor Bean plants in the kitchen last week.
I even used them to decorate our church for Pentecost!
I finally got them into the garden yesterday...and of course the forecast announces another night in the 30s right after! Hope they will be alright...I'll probably figure out some way to cover them. It wasn't easy to get them out of those containers! I was so afraid I'd hurt them. They did sulk a little but seem to be fine. They look rather interesting among all the tulips don't you think? Our neighbor was just over and they were the first thing she asked about!
Oh the lilacs! Working near them is heavenly!
I am excited about these peas. They are from seed I've saved for about 3 years now. The germination was perfect and they are all so healthy and vigorous! The afternoon lighting makes this a terrible picture, though.
The garlic is doing very well.
And the lettuce, despite being nibbled at by the greedy groundhog.
Someone warned me last year the borage self seeds itself everywhere, and they were right!
If any of you subscribe to Heirloom Gardener magazine, the Summer issue has an article about Mignonette written by me! I'm really excited about it since it's the first time my writing has been published. :)
And for those of you who tried to comment on my last post, sorry about the problems with that! It seems to be working again now, though.
I have more pictures to share from another walk in the woods, but that will have to wait till another post. I must get back to work!
I wanted to post another garden update last week but didn't have the time since I've been so busy with transplanting, weeding, mowing, etc! Hopefully there will be a few moments for an update later this week, but no promises! The tulips are really at their best right now, so of course they are the main ingredient in today's vase. I was a little uncertain how this would turn out since I don't have much experience with arranging them, but I guess it's kinda hard to go wrong with a flower so lovely!
I can't look at a tulip without thinking of the envious rose in Thomas Fuller's Speech of Flowers:
"There is lately a Flower (shal I call it so? In courtesie I will tearme it so, though it deserve not the appellation), a Toolip, which hath ingrafted the love and affections of most people unto it; and what is this Toolip? A well complexion'd stink, an ill savour wrapt up in pleasant colours. As for the use thereof in Physick, no Physitian hath honoured it yet with the mention, nor with a Greek, or Latin name, so inconsiderable hath it hitherto been accompted; and yet this is that which filleth all Gardens, hundreds of pounds being given for the root thereof, whilst I the Rose, am neglected and contemned, and conceived beneath the honour of noble hands, and fit only to grow in the gardens of Yeomen."
Of course, the Rose need not be jealous. There is plenty of room in my heart and my garden for both. Anyway, they don't even bloom at the same time!
This arrangement also includes a few daffodils. These were growing in a rather out-of-the-way place so I thought they could be better admired indoors. I planned to add a few branches of apple blossoms, but alas! all the wild apple trees around have their flowers just out of my reach! So I used willow branches instead.
Close-ups of some of my favorites (both in the vase and in the garden!)
I went out after sunset Saturday night to take some more pictures, and discovered somebody hiding amongst the tulips! Can you spot him?
I wish you all a pleasant week in your gardens. Don't forget to visit Rambling in the Garden to see all the lovely flower arrangements that will be shared today!
I have a little something unusual this week, and although it's not officially "in a vase" I just had to share it! Those of you who have been following my blog regularly lately will know that I am nuts about this plant. The flowers of the Castor Bean are usually described as "insignificant", but I think they are incredibly beautiful, if a bit strange! The male and female flowers are born on the same stem, and as you can see, their appearances are distinctly different. The male flowers look like tiny cauliflowers and scatter pollen at the lightest touch (they are wind pollinated), and the female flowers look like little starfish or some other sea creature! One of my plants is also starting to form seed pods. Hopefully I will be able to get them out of the greenhouse and into the garden SOON! :D
I always find myself looking forward to Mondays, when gardeners around the world share their beautiful flowers (and vases!) at Rambling in the Garden. I hope you'll enjoy it too, and have a great week!
All the sunshine we've had the last couple of weeks has been nice, but rather unusual for us. Some of the plants were beginning to look a little withered, so I was very glad for the showers we had yesterday. The humid air really brought out the fragrance of the flowers, making it impossible to stay inside!
Some of the tulips have started to bloom.
The woods looked so tempting during my early morning walk across the field that I promised myself I would return later if possible.
So, despite the innumerable garden chores that still need to be done, I declared the afternoon a holiday and set out to explore!
Red Osier dogwood grows at the edge the woods.
Don't ask me how this boulder got here! It makes a nice seat to enjoy the scenery from, however.
A beautiful but threatening sky.
I saw signs of bear, as well as moose and deer...it made me wonder if I even ought to be out here alone, but I was already having such a good time there was no turning back!
It certainly looks like bear territory, doesn't it?
One of the first sights that greeting me when I entered the woods was this beautiful trillium!
Does anyone know what these plants are? I am so ignorant about woodland plants! They appear to be some kind of flower. I will have to go back to see what kind of flowers they have!
There were lots of fiddleheads, too. These are considered a spring delicacy around here, but I haven't tried them yet.
I went deeper into the woods than I normally go, but stopped in my tracks when I saw this! A bear den perhaps? I didn't get close enough to find out!
It was a wonderful time. I felt like a child again, and even caught myself imagining that I was a botanical explorer in some unknown forest! There was a downpour on the way back so I came home drenched but very happy and eager to do it again sometime soon! :)
We are having a lovely stretch of sunny weather, so I thought this sunny bouquet would be appropriate! I actually don't have that many daffodils in my garden...something I really hope to remedy this fall. :)
A glimpse of the gardens. We had a freeze a couple nights ago, and I was worried that the tulips and hyacinths wouldn't survive, but most of them did. Even the daffodils were drooping early that morning, but they revived quickly when it warmed up. I did lose most of the heliotrope and several dahlia plants however. I left them in the greenhouse under cover, but they still froze.
There are lots of hyacinths in bloom, along with a primrose, but the glory-of-the-snow is fading fast. There's also a picture of one of my rhubarb plants, which I started from seed last year. They are amazingly easy to grow!
I hope you all have a beautiful week in your gardens. Do stop by and see what others have gathered today at Rambling in the Garden!
The Castor Bean plants are growing so fast that I had to move them into these tubs only one week after I had transplanted them into the largest pots I have! It will be at least another 2 weeks before I can safely plant them in the garden. Meanwhile, I hope they don't outgrow these because I have nothing else that will hold them! And they are supposed to be a "smaller" variety!
Looks like they are getting ready to flower, too!
I spend time just sitting and admiring them every day. These are definitely the most exotic and fascinating plants I've ever grown!
My collection. Notice that they all have a reddish tint but the one on the left!
I can hardly wait to see them in the garden! :)
At long last, Spring has come to the rugged North, and I have a few flowers to gather and share with you as I join Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for IAVOM! You can see many beautiful flower arrangements from around the world today on her blog.
The vase is just a little tea cup and saucer given to my sister and me after we gave a concert at an antique store many years ago. I've had my eye on it for several weeks now, eagerly anticipating this moment!
The main ingredient in this arrangement is Glory-of-the-snow. I absolutely love this little flower! There are several small clumps of it in my garden, and they get more beautiful with each year.
The little bits of foliage come from my Valerian plants. They are a very pretty dark red when they first emerge in the Spring.
The crocuses are just about finished, but there are still a few nice clumps here and there. They haven't been enjoying the heavy rains and wind we've had lately.
I hope you all have a beautiful week in your gardens...it has been a hard winter, but Spring is here at last! :)
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. I also blog for Heirloom Gardener.