When the roses end their season and the lilies go into full bloom, I know it is officially summer. At least that is how I define it in my garden. And the lilies are blooming, beautiful red and yellow turbin lilies first, followed by the heavily and heavenly scented white regalis and trumpets. Some days you can smell them all the way to the front of the house. Pair that with the sweet scent of the late gardenias and you are guaranteed to never have a dull day.
But not to fast, the roses first. May is a pristine month for roses in Georgia – all of them in bloom and all of them trying to outshine the other. With the abundant rain we had this month, they sure did excite even my none gardening friends. I love the classic salvia and rose planting I did last year and the addition of some verbena actually made me put more of those on the to-buy list for next spring. We hosted several garden parties this month and the roses have received many compliments. The only disappointment was once again the “Westerland” rose, an apricot colored shrub rose with typically abundant blooms. It only had one lonely little bloom and even pruning did not convince it to do more. I was frustrated, but my head gardener (aka my mother) told me to give it some time. And time I hopefully have plenty to watch this garden grow over the years.
The vegetables are a strange lot this year. In a typical year we have our first tomatoes by the end of April, some early cherry tomatoes maybe even a few days sooner. But this year, it is now June and they are still green. Temperatures have stayed just under the wanted 85 degrees for most of the month, with lots of rainy and overcast days. But the beans and squashes love this weather, leaving me with big buckets of green beans to use for dinner and some fresh squash to hope for soon. I was even able to restart some lettuce and greens in a shaded bed and some new shelling beans on the trellis. June will bring the high temperatures we need, after all this is the South, and kick start the tomatoes, okra, pickles and cucumbers in the vegetable garden, as well as the lantana in the flower beds. If only we can keep the rain coming, we should have a splendid gardening year ahead of us.
Now I shall leave you to it – I am sure you have some things planed on this summer day. Enjoy those long evenings, more hours for gardening !