I'll start in the vegetable garden today, for a change! The pumpkins are growing like mad. It seems that the trellis is not going to stop them from taking over the rest of the garden, as usual. They have already started crawling through the corn, beans, and peppers. But I don't mind!
Can you spot the baby pumpkins?
The corn is looking good. Dorinny Sweet is putting out tassels. The Glass Gem corn is the same height but no tassels yet, which is good since I don't want them to cross. The Glass gem is just an experiment to see if it can mature in our short growing season.
Sunset runner beans. They got off to a really slow start this spring and I lost several to snails and turkeys!
I'm looking forward to trying this Purple of Sicily cauliflower!
Peppers are one of my favorite crops to grow. Mainly because I can start them indoors so early, when I'm getting desperate to start gardening again!
A rather odd-looking Pantano Romanesco tomato!
A potato field in bloom across the road...
And now on to the the flower garden! Maybe there is a little too much nicotiana right now! But I love it. The real problem is that I made the mistake of planting some smaller plants, like balsam, among the nicotiana! I should have known better!
The echinacea is starting to bloom.
A friend identified this plant as Mullein. Don't ask me how it got here, but its welcome, at least for now! Apparently it can become invasive, so hopefully I won't regret this later.
I like the contrats between these hollyhocks and the nicotiana. I wonder if anyone has ever planted a black and white garden?
Black hollyhocks at night...
This post is getting way to long, but here are some other recent close-ups...
I have still more to share, but don't have time right now, and also don't want to overwhelm my readers! So that's it for the moment!
So much has been happening in the garden this week, I hardly know where to begin! A few days ago, I decided to pick and arrange some flowers for my nightstand. I arrange flowers in much the same way as I garden...with very little planning! I just pick whatever catches my eye in the garden (as long as there is enough to spare) and have fun putting them one by one in the vase. Of course the wonderful thing about arrangements is that you can start all over again if you don't like the result! The flowers in this bouquet include Sweet William, Snapdragons, Heliotrope, Nicotiana, Stocks, Borage, Petunias, Zinnias, and a rose from my new David Austin bush.
As in my somewhat messy garden, this arrangement must be viewed from different angles to see all the flowers!
I couldn't resist taking this picture of the Crocus rose, before putting it into the vase!
Some highlights in the garden...I love the black hollyhocks and have planted several more from seed I saved last year!
And here are some of my favoritest flowers! These Peppermint Sticks balsam flowers are so unique. These were also grown from saved seed...
Can anyone tell me what this plant is? I didn't plant it, but it came up in the spring along with the comfrey plants, and I noticed that its leaves were very soft, unlike comfrey. I was curious to see what it would do and so I let it grow. It looks familiar, as if I've seen pictures before, but I'm not sure what it's called, although I feel like it's at the tip of my tongue right now!
Each evening I eagerly anticipate the opening of the Marbles Four O'clock, or Marvel of Peru flowers. Every flower is different, even on the same plant!
It was thundering last night when I was photographing these, but I wasn't paying much attention since it had been thundering most of the afternoon, but all the storms so far had gone around us. So, imagine my surprise when I turned around and beheld a wall cloud over the field across the road! Thankfully no damage, although I'm pretty sure I saw a funnel cloud, which almost touched the ground. The wind picked up for a few minutes, but then we just got some much needed rain.
I'm not very adventurous when it comes to food, and for the most part have no interest in flowers as edibles, but I decided to try making candied heartsease to decorate a chocolate cake for a garden party with a friend this past week.
The bowls contain egg whites and sugar. The paint brush turned out to be more of a hindrance for me. It seemed to be easier to just coat them with my fingers! Make sure all of the petals get coated with eggwhite. Then sprinkle them with sugar, and lay them on the parchment paper to dry.
Once they dried I cut the stems off...
The garden seems to be constantly changing. No sooner do I write a new post here, I go outside again and there is another new flower that I missed with the camera earlier!
My new David Austin "Crocus Rose" has its first flowers now. I really hope it will survive the winters here!
The annuals are starting to take over the garden in earnest now...
A picture taken while standing at the back of the garden...getting there was abit of a challenge!
The foxgloves are now past their prime, but this is still one of my favorite garden spots right now.
This is the first time this 4 year old lavender plant has bloomed!
Progress on the new garden...
Buckwheat starting to come up!
The vegetable garden is starting to look good with the pumpkins growing faster than I can believe! I think we might even get a few cucumbers within a week or so, despite the beetles which are still a problem. We've also been enjoying broccoli, lettuce, and tomatoes. Peas will be ready very soon.
Those who know borage better than I do will probably laugh, but I was shocked when the first flower on one of my plants opened a lovely shade of pink! I was surprised again the next morning when the same flower had started turning blue, and by afternoon was all blue! On closer observation, it seems that most of the flowers open this way!
Yesterday I picked the first tomatoes of the season. These Black Krims ar the BEST tomatoes I've ever had! Of course, I have many more varieties to try. Where we live it's almost impossible to grow any tomatoes out in the garden, except for a few super early, cold-hardy varieties like Sub-arctic Plenty, which aren't that tasty. I am so thankful for my greenhouse! Last year I harvested Martino's Roma tomatoes until November 1st, and I hope to keep picking even longer this year (if we don't get extreme cold too early). Now, I will finally be able to try out the many heirloom tomatoes I read about in seed catalogs that make my mouth water!
A little history about Black Krim tomatoes...
It originates from the Isle of Krim in the Black Sea, near the Crimean Peninsula. It is believed that soldiers returning home from the Crimean War, in the late 19th century, gathered these seeds and began sharing them. They were introduced to the market in 1990 by Lars Olov Rosenstrom of Bromma, Sweden
I love being in my garden at dusk. Especially on a cool breezy evening with a bright moon shining! It was so beautiful last night, the flowers were wonderfully fragrant, and I finally figured out how to take night-time pictures!
The first time I saw a picture of an all-white garden, I thought it was ridiculous! But the idea has gradually grown on me, especially after growing Aztec Sweet nicotiana last year. Now I would like to find a spot for a white garden of my own! They are nice in the daytime too of course, but I think it would be just glorious in moonlight! This nicotiana is the first flower that comes to mind when I dream about what I would plant in it.
The Valerian really stood out nicely against the dark background!
I love these petunias! The new hybrids just can't compare!
Light-colored Foxgloves are lovely at night, too. But I think these are at their best just before the sun goes down. I tried to get a picture of them a few days ago, but right when I came out with the camera, the sun went behind some clouds!
And I didn't think that the borage would show up well in a picture, but I tried anyway and was amazed at the results!
I had fun photographing the vegetable garden. By this time (around 10 PM) it was completely dark and I was somewhat blinded by the camera flash, so I didn't exactly know what I was aiming at! I don't usually go out there in the dark. It's right next to our woods, and bears are quite common around here. I even had a close-up encounter with a bull moose a few years back!
Two days ago, I was pleasantly surprised to see a new peony open! This is the first flower of the "Coral Charm" peony from Fedco that I planted in the Fall of 2013! It probably would have bloomed a lot sooner if I hadn't moved it once, intentionally, and another time by accident! But it has been well worth the wait. The color reminds me of watermelon candy and the fragrance is nice, but very different from my Sarah Bernhardt and Benjamin Franklin peonies and so far this flower hasn't been messed up by the rain, unlike the "bomb" types.
Thanks to the thunderstorms and rain we've been getting almost daily, some parts of my gardens are looking decidedly messy. It may also be the scruffy look of the lupines and forget-me-nots that are now going to seed. It's tempting just to cut them down, but I want to save seeds from both. I am going to have to be a little more agressive with thinning out the forget-me-nots next year, though. They were nice at first, but then they choked out some of the seedlings I planted near them. Somebody remind me when the time comes, because I probably won't have the heart to do that next spring when they look so green and fresh! I guess I could always dig them up and move them to more desirable places. Hopefully the garden will look better in a couple weeks when more annuals come into the bloom. The first nicotiana flowers opened 2 days ago, as well.
I love the way gardens look when half-hidden from view. (It looks better when the garden is messy, too!)
And this is the view from my bedroom window...
I'm still debating whether or not to plant comfrey all along the back of this garden. It is such a tough plant, it would be perfect, but I'm noticing now that it does have a tendency to lean over onto the plants in front of it and hide them from view!
This is one of the treasures I found buried under the comfrey...one of my heliotrope plants coming into bloom!
Some more highlights in the garden right now...
More and more flowers are opening on the petunias in the barrel planters! Their fragrance is just heavenly at night!
The pumpkins are growing amazingly fast. They are now starting to climb the A-frame support (with a little encouragement!).
I covered my 3 Ajvarski pepper plants with cheesecloth to keep them from cross-pollinating with the others, as I really want to save seed from them. They are pretty rare and a little expensive!
And...work has begun on the new vegetable garden! The bean arbor will stay, although I don't have much hope for the hyacinth beans. They grew really well inside the greenhouse, but as soon as I put them outside they just about came to a halt. If they don't work out, I will plant runner beans there next year.
I ordered 5 lbs. of Buckwheat seed from Wood Prairie Family Farm (www.woodprairie.organic) to plant for a cover crop. It is supposed to be delivered tomorrow, which means I really should go get back to work instead of sitting here typing this!
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.