Walking through my gardens this morning, I was amazed at how suddenly they have changed from spring to early summer! When I step into the front yard I am overwhelmed with all the wonderful scents! The old rugosa roses (I'm not sure what variety they are) have begun to bloom and a few Sweet William flowers have opened as well, and even a few petunias!
However, a few garden pests are starting to make themselves at home. One of my oriental lilies was attacked by the scarlet lily beetle. The odd thing about it is that another lily just a few feet away is totally untouched-so far! Since I discovered it, I have been going out and hand-picking them off a couple times a day, and it seems to be working. The first time I did it a few days ago, I picked off at least 8, and also had to crush a cluster of eggs on the underside of one of the leaves. Since then, there have been fewer each day, and today I've only found 1 so far, and no more eggs. I am going to be gone for a few days this week, though, so I'm hoping they won't come back again in full force while I'm away!
Also, it seems I spoke too soon when I said that I hadn't seen any cucumber beetles. They made their appearance yesterday, mainly on the cucumbers, but there were a few on the pumpkins, too. I have been hand-picking them also, but it doesn't work as well because they are so quick to fly away. I am going to experiment by sprinkling wood ashes around the base of the plants and on the plants themselves. But for when I'm gone, I will probably cover the cucumbers with cheese cloth to keep them off. I'm not so worried about the pumpkins because in past years I've found that they are so vigorous they quickly recover from any damage done by the beetles. But I have lost cucumber plants to them before.
The 2 lettuce varieties I'm growing this year are delicious! Sanguine Ameliore, or Strawberry Cabbage Lettuce, is a 19th centruy French heirloom introdused to America in 1906. And Tennis Ball was listed in Thomas Jefferson's garden book several times between 1809 and 1822.
The new rhubarb plants are looking really good. I transplanted some alpine strawberries to the same bed (they had been planted in the vegetable garden, but I needed the space they were taking). They have been sulking ever since, but are now looking a lot better after we had a good rain.
And I know it's about time to keep my promise of sharing ideas for the winter window garden but I still haven't have time to research all the possiblities. However, I did plant some Rosemary seeds about 2 weeks ago and am thrilled that a few of them are germinating already! They will have to be an indoor plant for the winter since they aren't hardy here.
This book caught my eye in an issue of Heirloom Gardener magazine. I haven't bought it yet, but it is definitely on my wish list!
So that's about all I have for now. Eventually I will do a whole post about 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. I also blog for Heirloom Gardener.