It has been an exciting month. It feels like we skipped spring and went right into an early summer, first sun burn, first BBQ and first sprinkler run all included. I have barely caught a breath, out in the garden every minute I could, and my house is showing the wounds. Today, rain has finally brought me inside for a much needed break and a even more desperately needed cleaning.
The flower garden is in full spring bloom, lovely shades of purple, magenta and pink mixed with whites and yellow. The late season daffodils fill the air with sweet perfume and rival the Heliotrope in smell. The Taber Azaleas opened just a few days after the big frost, saving them from destruction. I recently found some purple and black sage at the local plant outlet and added it to the garden. The black and blue salvia has been here for two years and is one of my favorite plants in the summer. Framed by Shasta daisies, I have never seen that corner of the garden without bees or butterflies or hummingbirds. I hope the purple version will be just as attractive and beneficial.
The columbines are showing their delicate flowers among the ornamental grass and the dahlias are already growing their first leafs. Even the foxglove is ready to impress and some early roses have already joined them. There are blooms everywhere and I can see the Lillie’s are not far behind. A small garden corner was filled with a “weed” that seemed familiar, but I couldn’t place it. Luckily I let it grow, as it turned out to be sweet william I scattered two years ago and completely forgot about.
The vegetable garden is ready to get growing for the summer. Some peas have been harvested for dinner and hopefully there will be many more to come. All the fruit trees have leaves now, even the apple tree I dreaded may be dead. The peach tree is loaded with fruit and will have to be thinned in the near future. Raspberries, Gooseberries, Currant and Strawberries are all looking promising, but usually the critters beat me to any kind of harvest. The tomato seedlings were planted out and I was so proud of myself to see so many of them thrive until one morning I woke to a massacre. Robins must have found the patch and snipped almost the entire patch, leaving sad leafless stems sticking up from the ground. I have small hopes they will come back, but have started some new seedlings in the basement. Luckily our local gardeners club has wonderful members that rallied to send me some of their additional seedlings and I am excited to have 12 different varieties growing from their donations. Perfectly fenced and netted of course.
In the basement seed station I still have all my pickles and cucumbers, okra, melon and zucchini, waiting for warmer night temperatures. I have had little luck with zucchini in the last three years, which seems ironic. The plants grow beautifully and show many male flowers, but not a single female flower will be formed. Hence, no zucchini. Butternut squash and melon are doing fine in the same bed and I have tried several different varieties, with the same result. I am not sure why this is happening and research has shown that others are experiencing this with no resolution. If anyone knows the answer, please release me from my misery. A gardener without zucchini, it’s not proper.
The last week has been taken up by the interior of the new recycled shed. A neighbor wanted it down and we did him the favor by moving it into our yard. Three buckets of paint, scrap wood and a trip to goodwill has turned it into my own personal shed heaven. It is a working shed, so maybe not pinterest worthy, but I love it enough to dedicate a post to it in the near future.
I find so much joy in the garden and for the first time since we bought it, I feel like I have a chance to make it into what I envisioned. I am certain there will be many more challenges in the road. But also many happy moments. For those we garden.