A Walk Through the Garden in May

Spring planting is this close to being done.

Walk with me.

hanging basket

I don’t recall the name of this little flower right now, but it’s keeping my hanging basket looking a bit perkier while I wait for the fuscias to come into bloom.

bok choi in a pot

Potted bok choi- I tucked it in a part shade corner of the patio to help keep it cool. These starts were surplus from my sister’s spring plantings, and I had to compost another dozen that bolted before I could get them in the ground. These were the runts of the litter, and haven’t bolted yet. Hardly a mouthful between the three (except for slugs and cabbage moths- it feeds their mouths just fine I can see!)

rugosa rose (wild rose)

Wild rose- rugosa, I believe. These were a Freecycle find- I dug them out of her yard in the Fall, and then stuck the canes in buckets of dirt to overwinter and grow roots. They went in the ground Spring of 2011. There was only one flower last year, looks like we’ll get a much better show this year! They smell amazing.

mystery flower

One of my mystery plants- it grew into a tidy clump of leaves last year, and it looked so intentional that I left it to see what it would become. This year, when the weather warmed up, the clump expanded and became looser, and sent up tall flower stalks. The flowers are bell shaped and green/white, ripening to a rosy lip. No clue what this is, but I’ve seen some bees buzzing around, so I’m happy with it!

pink rhodie

Pink rhodies. It’s rhododendron season right now, and I LOVE IT. You’d be hard pressed to find a yard around here that doesn’t have at least one of these bushes.

new fig leaves

New fig leaves. I’ve had ONE fig from this tree, in 2010. In 2011, there was one fruit, and my daughter pulled it off the tree (unripe.) I admit it: I cried. My mom has enormous fig trees, and I always get the lions share of the harvest, but still: I want my figs!! Ha.

cabbage

Cabbage. Really, this year has been the best so far for cole crops, which isn’t saying much. Most of my seeds either didn’t germinate, or produced seedlings too stunted to bother planting. Knowing me, hope springs eternal, and you’ll find me hopefully planting seeds again next Spring! Actually, I’m going to plant seeds in the ground this Fall and see if they do better. (See? Hopeless optimist.)

asparagus fronds

Asparagus, all grown up. This crown went in the ground Spring of 2011- I probably won’t harvest until 2014, to give it time to get stronger. There were brothers and sisters planted, but they didn’t survive the crew of helpers who dug up our yard when the water main broke, and we laid a new one. (I love and adore those helpers!)

strawberry blossom

Strawberry blossoms- planted Spring 2011. We got a small harvest last year. I should have picked the blossoms off, but my kids were SO excited that I just let them go ahead and set fruit. These are also from Freecycle, and I won’t be looking for plants *with dirt* on Freecycle any more- they come with some pretty gnarly weeds!

mystery plant

Another mystery plant. It popped up last year. It’s bigger this year, but still not doing much. Could it be chamomile?

potted zucchini

Zucchini in a pot. Another surplus start from my sister’s plantings- I haven’t put out my squash seeds yet! Maybe she has the right idea, although I’ve been told that squash really doesn’t like being transplanted. I’ve never had good luck with transplanted squash at any rate, but remember: Myrnie= cockeyed optimist.

potted cilantro

The girls helped me plant, and we got a bit rushed at the end as they asked for more and more seeds to help me plant. I really thought this pot was green onions, but it seems to be cilantro. Or maybe it’s parsley? Well, it will be pretty obvious in a few weeks, anyway.

oregano

Oregano, planted Spring 2011. I need to read more about this- it doesn’t smell or taste like dried oregano, I’m really not sure how to use it!

covered corn patch

The corn patch, with a Reemay blanket to help heat the soil and keep it moist. I put the corn seeds in the ground Saturday, and I’m going to wait for them to sprout and grow just a bit before I put my pole beans in around them, and vining squash. Yes, I’m doing a “Three Sisters” bed this year. It’s going to look atrocious, I know, but isn’t it an organic gardener’s rite of passage? I think so!  This is where my basil, tomatoes, and tomatillos lived last year.

spinach and onions

Onion sets, and spinach. I’m hoping they play nice together in this little patch.

bush pea patch

My pea patch- I kept the hoops covered until this week, when the blossoms came. Time to get pollinated! I’m leaving the hoop house as an experiment- these are bush peas, but they DO have little tendrils that want to grab onto things. This will hopefully keep them upright and away from slugs and wet dirt. I’m not sure what harvesting will be like- anything above the hoop house will be a breeze. Anything under…I think I’ll leave to the girls and their weeny hands. Maybe that’s how we’ll divide the harvest this year- last year my girls and their friend ate the entire season’s crops while they played. I really don’t mind, I LOVE that my kids graze in the garden, but it would be nice to have some peas for the kitchen too 🙂

beets

Sad beet patch. No comment. Moving on. (I nearly pulled everything out the other day, but I love beets, so I’ll give them some more time.)

bolting rainbow swiss chard

Last spring’s rainbow swiss chard planting. Umm. We never ate it. Have I mentioned how bad I am at remembering to cook dinner with what’s in the garden? We’re good at snacking and preserving, but the day to day meals not so much. I’ve got to get better at that!

garbage can potatoes

My yearly garbage can potatoes. I have a few different kinds in there, they’re going gang busters with this warm weather this week! (We’ve jumped from 50’s to 70’s. It’s marvelous!)

volunteer

Volunteer ajuga. It’s in a stretch along the side that is sorely neglected- the dirt is terrible, and it’s full sun so the clay is rock hard in the summer. Nothing but horse tails and blackberries grow there! I want to put a good four to 6 inches of compost mulch on it this spring to improve the soil, and transplant raspberry canes this Fall.

volunteer irish moss

Volunteer irish moss. I giggle when I see it for sale, $6/gallon, at the store. I love it, and leave it wherever it decides to grow.

cilantro

More cilantro, in a half barrel planter by the street.

the front yard

The front yard.  We’ve come a long way, we have a long way to go!

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11 Responses

  1. The thought of figs makes me hungry. My strawberries got slugs in them this year. I need to keep them off the ground somehow but they’re still relatively new–planted last summer–and not to high yet. They’re also not very sweet…hmm

    • Oh yuck…I’ve heard good things about mulching with dry straw under the strawberries. I’ve also heard good things about Sluggo, haha (it’s supposed to be natural and safe for kids and pets.) My choice would be a duck, to eat all the slugs, but that’s not allowed in this neighborhood!

  2. I would love love love a fig tree! Your first mystery plant looks like a very pale variety of Coral Bells. The second looks like Sweet Cicely. Oregano is one of those herbs that is actually better, stronger when it’s dried.

  3. Mmmm. Your yard is delicious, and I love the huge, colorful swiss chard!

  4. You look like you will have a nice garden this year. When using your oregano, use twice as much as you would dried.

  5. Your first little mystery plant looks like Bacopa to me. It’s often sold as an annual at nurseries. It’s one of my favorites for planters and hanging baskets!

  6. Sluggo works very well for us. We got a pet turtle(full grown western slider) He can eat a few slugs a day. I’m out at night looking for them now! 😉

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