Saturday, May 31, 2014

The Time Of Vegetation

Is most certainly here. The grasses are green and variegated.

The multi textured Lush reaches ever higher for the sky.

The different rhododendrons bloom on.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Out There In The Lush

The rescued Fire Pink, Silene virginica, have started to bloom. This is one intensely red flower. I am always most pleased when a plant has settled in and makes itself at home. Now when and where will I be seeing babies

An iris cozies up to one of the new variegated Red Twig Dogwoods. I'd like to see them grow this year instead of just survive. I have what they want, sun and very moist soil.

I have managed a few mass plantings. I aim for more, that and repetition. Both add structure and a strong visual element that helps subdue the chaos.

The Baptisia are a puzzle. I have planted close to two dozen on one section of slope. In proper gardens I have watched them get big fast. By year three they are enormous. Mine putz along never seeming to gain any girth and stature. The best I can figure is the Lush slows them down. They may need more elbow room.

I want a mass of Baptisia blooms with a mass of Yellow Louisiana Iris flowers, not just the foliage. I wait. I edit.

Black Iris #2 is here. At some point it should be spread around. When it is done blooming I'll check and see if there is enough to pinch a few pieces for distribution. Last year a chunk of it went to a gardener who specializes in deep red foliage, blue poppies and black flowers. I hope it bloomed for him too.

Right now the Black Iris is in my cabin side bed. This is as close to a proper bed as I have gotten and it isn't anywhere near proper. I'm sure a fine spot in the Lush can be found for more Black Iris. It won't know the difference.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

More Magic Beans

The roadside vegetable garden is looking good and staying on schedule for the last week of May. After years of using wood chips as a mulch there isn't much to do but plant when the time is right. I was also most pleased that all the hobby farm dung I added last fall has been essentially weed free. I did get a few free Anise Hyssop, Agastache foeniculum from the dung. They have been left for now.

There has been a most fine and plentiful crop of strawberries this year. We have been eating big bowls of them for desert. Someone or some varmint found the strawberries enticing too. We were picked clean of the ripe berries before Wednesday's harvest. Whoever or whatever it was left no traces and no evidence. It's a mystery. I'd almost prefer a one time human varmint as the culprit. There's plenty green berries left to ripen.

The rows are getting full. I have them marked with green stakes so I remember which rows have been used. I am very capable of seeding over potatoes that haven't come up or planting over seeds.

There is lettuce, rogue potatoes and self sown sunflowers.

Beets are growing and a second sowing of radishes is up. The first sowing never showed up.

The peppers are doing as peppers do, sitting there and waiting for what amounts to hot high on the low spot. Some years they sit and wait longer than others.

The first of the squashes were planted out. I have cucumbers and other squashes growing bigger in flats before I put them in the garden. I get better germination and less predation when I seed them in pots over direct sowing into the garden.

I planted potatoes and fine crop of dill came up. How did that happen? Well I planted dill once. I don't think I will ever need to sow it again. Like the sunflowers it is now a rambling weed in the roadside vegetable garden.

The missing potatoes are another story. I was bad and bought my seed potatoes at the grocery store and planted them right away without letting them sit out for a bit. Who knows if they had been coated with something to prevent sprouting or not. I went digging to make sure they hadn't rotted in the late freeze. They were fine and just starting to sprout, but still a long way from the surface.

The sack of red potatoes from the grocery store finally came up. So did a whole bunch of rogue potatoes. I try really hard when I harvest to get every last tiny tater. I never do. I always miss some and every year I have weed potatoes. I just dig em and eat em like the rest.

The tomatoes have settled in and started to grow. There are 22 tomatoes.  That should be plenty. I sure hope we don't get the late blight this year.

I had planned to put a fresh layer of wood chip mulch on this year, but they closed off the tree trimmer's dumping ground down by the river and my supply has been cut off. It pains me not to have a fresh layer of chips. It makes things look so neat and spiffy. I can expect to do more weeding this year too. My chips are getting thin.

Most of the pole beans were up. One pole was naked. Someone must have eaten the seed. I recall seeing a hole dug there shortly after planting them.

I need more magic beans.

These are saved Scarlet Emperor runner beans. I always let some of them grow way big to save and collect seed. The seeds themselves are this purple tie dyed looking thing. The vine has deep red flowers that has been known to be a scenic byway road stopper.

More magic beans were planted in a roadside vegetable garden that is bursting with tasty life. I think it's time to repaint my poles.

That's the vegetable garden in the last week of May, ready to grow.

And now for your enjoyment, a gratuitous shot of the sultry Black Iris.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Black Blue And Yellow

It's here. If the only bearded iris in all the wild cultivated gardens to bloom other than Lorelei the Reliable is the Black Iris, I can live with that. It's so black. Until the wrong light hits it and the deep purple shines through.

Today, the first bloom was black.

Today there was also more blue.

I'm beginning to see the wisdom in not relying on the bearded iris for all your iris blooms. Other iris aren't so temperamental.

And today there was more yellow. Even shocked by late frost, the Yellow Louisiana Iris managed to put out some blooms.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Before The Black Iris

The iris that will be blooming are blooming. I suppose this is Caesar's Brother. I pulled it from a trash heap in the forest. But I have seen forms of it that have much more erect leaves and the flowers rise completely above the foliage. A slightly different cultivar or variation from the site conditions or this is not Caesar's Brother? I don't know.

The Yellow Louisiana iris are having a few blooms. One year they were loaded. I wait for a repeat of that year. The year they don't freeze after they have started to grow.

This is a near miracle. Not a single other of the bearded type iris in all of the wild cultivated gardens, and there are hundreds, have produced a single bloom. Only the black sheep of the family has come through. Maybe tomorrow I will have the Black Iris.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Lupine At The Posh Estate

I have not been able to grow fancy lupine myself. There are currently a number of the eastern species, Lupinus perennis, seedlings in the wild cultivated garden. Maybe they will grow for me.

That deep dark purple/blue in the left back ground is Salvia nemorosa. I have not been able to successfully grow that either.

Some things just do not compete well with the Lush. They need more elbow room, all day sun and less aggressive neighbors, a proper perennial bed to thrive. I don't see a proper perennial bed in my future. Good thing I can enjoy fancy lupine and Salvia nemorosa in other gardens.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Taming The Lush

Even though I may look at the wild cultivated gardens with a highly critical eye, seeing all kinds of chores that need doing, there was never any need to panic. I remember quite well what a good weed whacking can do.

One strong element of order is all it takes to tame the chaos. Today the first mowing began. Now only I will really know what is a weed.

I spent the early morning in the roadside vegetable garden then moved on to removing dead deutzias. The weed whacking began after noon. It's a start. I have miles of paths to go.

When clear paths guide you through the Lush, the botanical interests become more evident.

There is much to see in the burgeoning greenery.

As promised, after dinner another hour was spent working in the garden. A bit more weed whacking got done. There had already been a two hour stroll mid afternoon with one of our volunteer Master Gardeners who wasn't able to make the other dates with the larger group who will be casing the joint for the big day. They got a one on one private tour.

Out of chaos comes order. Some clear negative space is all that's needed.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Is It Time To Panic

On our evening stroll today I saw all kinds of garden chores that need doing. Of course that is nothing new. Being on the Master Gardener tour in one month is new. These chores need to get done.

The two deutzias indeed froze to the ground. They are sprouting from the bottom and need to be cut down before the new growth has to fight its way through all the dead parts.

I found another froze to the ground rose and a dead looking patch of St. John's Wort. Those need to

There may be a few weeds here and there. Paths need tending.

I looked at the calendar and the two weeks prior to the tour in which I will only be working here and at the Posh Estate. That's on the tour too. It has to be perfect.

I'm not sure I have given myself enough days in the wild cultivated gardens to prepare.

What to do? What to do?

From now until the tour, evening strolls are out. I will have to spend an hour after dinner each night working in the ridge top garden and beyond.

If I can pull that off it will amount to several extra days worth of work. That should do it.

We will be ready.

Something will be in bloom on the day of the tour. I'm not sure what.

I noticed a few other things on our evening stroll and a month from now they will all be done.

Look deep into the shiny ball. It doesn't matter. These are the wild cultivated gardens, a living example of gardeners with over sized appetites. All will be well. I will not fret or panic. Ohmm.