Sunday Morning Garden Chat: Promises

via Philip Bump‘s twitter account

I’m making progress on my garden, one hour at a time. This is the most hopeful part of the annual cycle, for me; the plants are coming up (or arriving in the mail), and I can see where I’m making progress and look forward to the end results. The larger two of the three ‘flower’ shipments have arrived, and I’m pretty happy with my choices (apart from the pink verbena; still can’t figure out what I was thinking when I ordered that… ) Also, the lilacs are just coming into full bloom, so the yard smells gorgeous!

By the end of the day, Murphy the Trickster God willing, I’ll have finished with *one* plot — the triangular bed next to the front door, which is the least demanding physically of the eight or ten separate ‘plots’ but also the most fiddly, because it means removing failures and fitting new specimens into an already crowded patch. Two well-established Zepherine Drouhin roses, two less sturdy but stalwart Don Juans, daffodils, achemillia, columbines, daylilies, cranesbill… I filled up three trash barrels full of oak leaves & winterkill, took out some of the overcrowded daffs, popped in a couple of muscaria and some more blue columbines, relocated an insufficiently ornamental trellis and replaced it with a prettier one. Now I need to tuck in the last three sweet peas and a couple of old-fashioned dianthus, and reseat the edging planters full of blue pansies, purple lobelia, and white allysum.

After which comes the heavy digging & relocation in the rest of the yard — everything that doesn’t need to be pruned or divided needs to be raked out or eliminated with extreme prejudice. And the mail-order tomato plants are due to show up in a couple of weeks, after which all other yardwork will have to be put on hold. Still, I’ll have my one “clean” plot to admire!

What’s going on in your garden(s), this week?

Sunday Morning Garden Chat: Georgia Glory

From indefatigable contributor (and travelling fisherman) Raven:

These are pictures from our garden and yard. I’m sure the commenters will enjoy identifying the various flowers.

We bought the butterfly at the beach a couple of years back and, if these get posted that’s where we’ll be!

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Sunday Morning Garden Chat: The Aspirational Phase

It’s been such a crappy month — and that’s just the weather; we’re looking to set a record for the rainiest April on record — that I went a little crazy and ordered a whole bunch of plants I haven’t tried before to put in the various patches of garden that I haven’t been able to dig out yet. I actually had to sit down & make up a page-long list of everything I’ve ordered, and where I intend to put them. If everything arrives at the same time (as Murphy the Trickster God is bound to assure), I am gonna get so much side-eye from the Spousal Unit, who is well aware that I can’t manage more than about 90 minutes of yard work on any given day, assuming the weather permits, and there’s no BREAKING NEWS…

What I’m most eager / trepidacious about are the half-dozen sweet pea plants, which of course no sensible gardener would even consider given the modern climate here north of Boston. Any of you have experience with these? I’m planning on a mixture of well-aged compost and quality potting mix to bed them out, because our unamended ‘soil’ is construction fill, and also quite acid. How supportive a trellis do they need, assuming the plants don’t just curl up & die? Can I put some into a big pot with an obelisk, to make use of a sunny spot? How fussy are they about crowding?

Also, primroses — I ordered several varieties to try in a raised bed under a cherry tree, which should be workable. But how sensitive are they to crowding? Can I just dig out a clear patch in the vinca for them, or do I need to carpet-bomb the whole bed to give the primulas a chance?


Bonus plant-related content, from the Washington Post: “Sweet corn out, sweet potatoes in: Data shows fundamental shifts in American farming”:

The American vegetable landscape has shifted. Farmers are abandoning onetime basics such as sweet corn, green beans, peas and potatoes. In their place, they’re planting sweet potatoes and leafy greens such as spinach, kale and romaine lettuce.

Once every five years, the USDA Census of Agriculture provides a definitive guide to the trends behind the nation’s farms and diets. The latest figures, released last week, show broad dietary upheaval. In many cases, they show vegetables that may once have been dismissed as fads or trends are reshaping America’s agricultural landscape…

What’s going on in your garden (planning), this week?

They Grow Up So Fast

Move the first round of seedlings into peat containers today, aka kindergarten for plants:

This is all okra and butternut squash. Broccoli is already planted. Tomatoes are still too wee to move to peat containers. May put in a run of green beans and peas in in the next few days and roll the dice on frost. Screw it, the seeds are only a buck.

Sunday Morning Garden Chat: Garden in Progress

From commentor Lyrebird:

I got inspired by Ozark Hillbilly’s post with his great photos of seed packets. I definitely needed inspiration because we were still under some snow then, with just a few green shoots showing against the warmest wall of the house. My photos are not as well composed, but maybe they will bring some hopeful signs of spring nonetheless.

Six weeks ago, to last week:

I ordered some tomatoes and some nasturtium seeds. Only one Mallorcan tomato seed has germinated out of 6, but the Peron and purple varieties are going strong.

The nasturtium seeds are doing pretty well. Based on this one haphazard attempt, I can say that I have had slightly better luck with High Mowing Seeds from Vermont, but the Baker Creek folks do very good work, and I am happy to try out their stuff.

Of course it’s more fun to go to a plant store in person, but some of us live off the beaten path. I have ordered plants from Prairie Nursery, and Prairie Moon also offers some of the same plants. Am getting two kinds of milkweed, some Mountain Mint, and a few other things to try to keep pollinators around for those tomato plants.

For most of the year, I’m not a big fan of yellow flowers. But the fireworks explosion of forsythia blossoms at the dreariest part of early spring always lifts my spirits!

What’s going on in your garden (planning), this week?