Sunday, June 30, 2013

a twice told tale...

As ol' William Shakespeare once said (Bill to friends), probably nudging a friend at the local pub, "there is nothing so tedious as a twice told tale." He went on to tell him how he, William not the friend, had used the quip in a play of his that was coming off at the local theatre. Hamlet it was, and with the "tale to unfold" and fisherman's daughters bit it went off nicely. However, I am straying from the point. At this point in the blogosphere it is hard not to have a twice told tale. Everything is oozing along nicely and there are usually just more of the same things. Wonderful and enjoyable same things, but still the same. If you, my patient public, have endured with me this long, I try not to bore you with tedious twice told tales of things in bloom that you've seen before. No, I try to stimulate and instruct in whatever way possible. I view each bloom and vegetable as a miracle because I know the hand the fed the small plant and the fact that it not only lives, but also moves and feels the breath of life upon it's keel is mostly miraculous. However I understand them deep thinkers who look and mutter, "gosh" or perhaps "blimey" and assume I've just reposted last weeks under a new title. To them I only reply, "tush, this hard won fight for fame and glory and green beans is not so easy as it appears. The lush greenery is this weeks lush greenery and last weeks radishes were eaten with relish (enjoyed that is, not topped with the green stuff) and the pictures here displayed are fresh prospects bursting with a life of their own." or words to that affect. So onward I now trudge to display this weeks marvels. 

We are expecting a warm week here - almost unheard of for a nice 4th of July. We usually celebrate our independence from oppression with an oppressing shower and a few layers of cloud cover. However in light of this, I have done a lot on late evening/night watering (a timer does wonders if you are like me and sometimes forget to turn off the hose). I should be good until wednesday and then we'll water real well again.

Here is our alstromeria with some alyssum. Both came back from last year - amazing for someone of my caliber. The alstromeria didn't grow very tall, but it's blooming and I don't ask for much more. 

This Daphne is blooming for the second time this year. It is in the fragrance garden and adds color and scent to lighten the heaviest burden.

More asiatic lilies are joining the fray. We have 5 colors in bloom right now bordering the kitchen garden. Someday they'll beat as one heart and all bloom together, but until that blessed day we enjoy them one at a time.

Our violas are starting to show the strain of modern life. They seem to droop as the warmth of summer progresses. I did wait last year and they perked up, but as these are our front window boxes, I am looking for fresh blood to add. I'll probably pop these into a shady spot for later blooms, and add some color next weekend.

Our dahlias are starting to bloom as well. There are only three plants with open blooms, but the rest are not far behind. they make great bouquets and rebloom often, so I'm looking forward to them!

Back to the good old garden. Things are moving nicely. The sweet peas are actually climbing the fence and blooming this year, yah! The old maxim for corn, knee high by the forth of july, has been met, so we're hoping for another good crop this year. There isn't anything as good as corn right out of the garden. The peas are really getting going, so we eat a lot just messing about the garden, but there are enough to actually make it into the house now. Blueberries are almost ripe so we're trying to wait patiently. Our first summer squash is just about ready. We usually pick them about 3" long so they don't get too big or hard.

Now, if you are aren't looking for roses and lots of blooms of flowers, you should avert your shuddering gaze. All of these, the flowers and trees, are just small tokens of the joy of using a gardening glove... or something like that. It's an assortment of my favorites as I go around the garden talking to, scolding, pruning, watering, and enjoying the sibilant scented silence of summer among the early July fireworks.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

...and in the gardeners dreamy eyes, danced the color of a thousand fire flies...

...and in the gardeners dreamy eyes, danced the color of a thousand fire flies...

a bit of a misquote, but I couldn't find the exact poem and I think it was a child's eye as most people don't write poetry about gardeners eyes; however all of that aside it seemed to fit. The world it alight with the color of a thousand flowers right now. Well I can't speak for everyone of course - the North Pole for example and perhaps parts of Iceland and Greenland may still be under feet of glacial ice. Here on our little homestead, however, things are happening. 

Here is the front corner bed. I can't take credit for this unless the credit of purchasing it. The landscaper designed this little nook. The shasta daisies on the left are about to bloom and the astilbe it waving its featherlike tendrils hither and yon. The japanese maple needs more time to spread out but the colors all do their duty well.

Here is the front of our house from the driveway. we are still choosing house color (no we aren't going to always have random patches of color) The climbing rose is done with the first installment but usually gets going again here in July if it isn't too hot. Everything else is helping to make up for it though.

The garden is giving of its goodness as well. These are the first of the peas, then is a large beet. They are the Merlin beets which are ready a little earlier than the rest. The one pictured is about 2". If you happen to by Lucy (3 years old) you take a gander at that one and say, "that one is big, dada." (you of course drop your voice to a lower register (probably like all giants do) and drag out the iiiii.) The bush beans are just about ready and a stray nasturtium decided to pop in for a visit.

Here the blue berries are almost ready and the raspberries are ripe for the pickin'

Last but not least our butterfly bushes are all almost blooming. They seem to be waiting for the sun to come out so that they'll look their best, but it may be out for the weekend so we'll keep watching them.

This rose also looked nice and no post is perfect these days without a rose or too. As Emeril used to say (or perhaps still does) You gotta have smellavision to enjoy this! These smell purdy nice, but as you can't tell, you'll just have to imagine purdy nice and that is how these smell.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

change, the only constant...

As good old Heraclitus once mentioned (probably as he came in and found that his wife had rearranged the living room) "Change is the only constant in life."
Well, the times, they are a changin' and so is my garden. We have a problem of living on a large clay pad. It extends for miles and so my step father informed me makes this area good for farming. Crops may like that, but standing water in the yard every winter isn't my idea of a good time. Most of it doesn't stand around for long as it can all accumulate under our house or onto the back porch (its one of those special ones that don't slope out but in towards the house so that during a downpour, we can store extra water there!). To fix this, the man who knows about those sort of things installed some pipes holy and not so holy (or as a real person might call them solid and perforated) and a few catch basins. This pipe ran along the driveway which was occupied already by our day lilies which bordered our garden.
A small note here, if you are going to border a garden with day lilies, don't. They grow very fast and your children will not be able to follow you into the garden and will find the ones that are about to bloom and step on those breaking the stems, then fall and start crying. Everyone loses.
So back to the changin' times. We dug up all of the lilies and spread the love. The front yard got a few clumps, the back pathway got a border and the rose garden received everything else left over.

a bad "before" picture, but you can see the overgrown lilies on the left side of the picture

Here is what it looks like now. lots less tripping and easier access.

Back pathway

back of the rose garden

Last but not least, here is the clematis we planted on the back path arbor. I didn't expect them to bloom, but sure don't mind. The yellow roses are blooming, but are forgetting to climb. Hopefully they'll remember soon.

Here is the poppy garden. It doesn't look like much, but they are coming on strong and should have about 3x the blooms that are there now in the next few weeks. 

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day!

So the 15th has rolled around again and this time I was ready. If one were to see me walking out the door this  morning with coffee and camera in hand, one might have noted my keen tense look - like a hunter on the trail of some especially elusive hippopotamus. Fortunately for me and hippopotami in general, I was not stalking those stalwart beasts. No, I was looking to capture the glory and beauty in one of the mildest springs we've had in quite a while. Below are a few of those that were ready for their  moment of fame. Hope you enjoy and have a pleasant, peaceful weekend!