Six on Saturday – I Heard My Garden Singin’ in the Rain – July 21, 2018

It rained on Tuesday afternoon this week. Several inches. I could hear my garden singing as water became available to parched roots. There will be casualties from the drought and this rain won’t see us through the rest of the hot summer, but it was welcomed by every gardener in the Mid-Atlantic region who got some. Rain here is capricious. Often storms that start on the western side of the Chesapeake Bay don’t make it across to the Eastern Shore. And when they do they may skip areas, but on Tuesday we were blessed.

More rain predicted for today. 100% chance. I’ll take it.

Here are six garden songs for this week.

  1. The schubertii allium heads dried on the stalks. I cut them, spray painted them pink and attached them to bamboo sticks. They look like pink fireworks and will give me some color for the rest of the summer. If I really cared I’d spray paint the duct tape that I used. This winter I’ll spray paint them silver or white and use them for Christmas decorations.

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2.  Yellow day lilies continued to bloom throughout the weeks of no rain. My parents both grew up on Iowa farms and both were gardeners. I think the gardening bug bit me when, as an eight-year-old, I returned to Indiana with a newspaper wrapped root of what my Iowa Grandmother called a lemon lily. I planted it when we got home and it lived and bloomed. I was hooked. How did the rest of you become hooked on gardening?

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3. The Goldsturm rudbeckia have perked up since the rain and will now bloom for weeks.  They are a hardy and reliable perennial in my garden. Upper right hand corner of this photo is Soldago rugosa (commonly called goldenrod.) It blooms bright yellow. I cut it back by half on July 4th. I’ll post a photo when it is blooming.

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4. This coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) is happy in dappled shade. Others I had in full sun didn’t suvive. This one keeps coming back.

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5. Zinnias from saved seeds are blooming. Next year I need to get a packet of some that don’t get quite so tall.

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6. We are eating out of the garden. These few Yellow Finn potatoes grew in a patch where I had potatoes last year. Apparently I didn’t get all the babies out of the ground. They are delicious but not worth the bed space for the small harvest. I need to find a better variety. Suggestions?

This bowl will get turned into some German potato salad made with bacon from a local organic pig farmer. Also in the bowl are a few puny radishes I found when I was getting ready to sew a fall crop of turnips. I’ll slice them into a bowl of cucumbers and onions.

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In my beds at the Community Garden I am harvesting small beets and a few tomatoes. Yesterday I made gazpacho with tomatoes, cucumbers and garlic from the garden .

That’s my grateful-for-the-rain Six on Saturday, a meme started by The Propogator, a UK gardener. This is the link to the rules if you’d like to join in.

29 thoughts on “Six on Saturday – I Heard My Garden Singin’ in the Rain – July 21, 2018

  1. I guess the visualised rain dance finally worked! I’m glad you got some rain in the end. Hope you get more. The allium fireworks are ingenious.

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    • I was introduced to gardening as a young child(3 yrs.) once we moved from Brooklyn NY to Hicksville NY (“the country). Was inspired and tutored by my mother, my father and my maternal grandmother. I loved helping my mother with her flower beds. We religiously planted tulip, hyacinth and gladiola bulbs and then dug them up and stored them on shelves in the basement in those wax paper sandwich bags of old. My Italian father was in charge of the vegetable garden always of full of tomatoes and green peppers. He showed me when to harvest! My Polish grandmother could grow absolutely anything. She grew up on a farm in Poland. When she would visit us she would survey our modest yard and plan her next addition. She was amazing. Once I watched her each a peach, spit out the stone pit, stomp on it to crack the outer shell then carve a hole in just the right spot with the heel of her shoe before slipping in what was to be our next fruit bearing tree. We had several fruit trees in that backyard. All propagated by my grandmother. Sweet memories.

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      • Your parents & grandparents sound like wonderful garden folk. And your Polish grandmother has left her (heel) mark on the planet. I wonder if her trees are still there?

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  2. Am w/the others that using the dried allium heads for decorations is a great idea. Hope we see some of them as indoor decorations this winter. Do you cut down your golden rod mid season? I just let it fly. Your spuds look delicious.

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    • I cut back the goldenrod about July 4.
      Spuds were good. I shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth since I didn’t plant them this year, but I really need to find a potato that will give me more of a harvest.

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  3. The Goldsturm rudbeckia look very cheerful as does the daylily. You ask how we each got into gardening? I think I have always loved plants and flowers and had my own little patch on which to grow cornflowers and nasturtiums when I was very small. The gardening bug struck me once I had my own home in my thirties (having lived in rental flats and houses for years) and a small suburban plot that was a blank canvas. It is my only creative outlet. I am useless at painting or drawing and I love the fact that gardens are always evolving. Things grow, they die, they are planted in the wrong place, they get too big, they self-seed to much or not at all, you get bored with the colours, you want new colours, new varieties, a different look. When you think it is mature, you want to start again. And most of all I love the diversity of insects it brings into the garden and the birds. It makes me happy.

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    • Like you I adore the organic nature of it all. I move things around until I find a place a plant likes. Or sometimes they just go in the garbage if they are too much trouble. It’s a learning process. And for me things like weeding are meditative. My husband just thinks that’s nuts. I also like the physicality of gardening although I have to pace myself now.
      I’l have to find the photos of our house when we moved here 12 years ago. Not much was here in terms of plant material. Alot has changed.

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      • It’s funny how you can go out into the garden to potter and end up spending a couple of hours there, weeding, dead-heading, looking. It is very meditative.

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  4. Oh no, no, no. Seriously? My neighbor used to take the dried floral trusses of the lily-of-the-Nile as cut flowers like those of the allium. She mentioned that they could be spray painted, but for her own home, preferred the natural tan color. They funny thing is that they actually looked rather cool, sort of like your alliums. There were floral stalks from the New Zealand flax too. I suppose that if I had spent the money for allium bulbs, and got the flowers roasted by the weather, I would be reluctant to just discard them.

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  5. So glad you got some rain too Mala! We’re going to have a chance for several more days yet here in Ohio.
    I used to live in Joppa, MD for 15 years and loved visiting St. Michael’s. Such a sweet town that I always loved to visit.

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    • Hi, Cindy, we got a couple more inches yesterday and more predicted on and off for the coming week. We used to be on a well where we lived on the western shore (near Bel Air) so I never worried so much about how much I watered my garden beds. We are on town water in St. Michaels and pay for it. We’ve been in St. Michaels for 12 years now and it’s been a great place to retire to.

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  6. I had to chuckle at your pretty allium. Looks summery and fun to me! Reading that the lily got you hooked on gardening had me remembering my first foray when our kids were just babies and we grew vegetables… Seeing their joy when they could pull and chomp carrots rinsed by the hose had me hooked.

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    • My oldest son who lives in Montana is a big gardener. I think he got the bug from helping my mother in her garden. It was just what you described. Eating fresh out of the garden is something he remembers. Especially picking blueberries and then Grandma would make a pie.

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  7. I got into gardening quite late (I was too busy with school and also apartments) I remember my mum giving me an old wheelbarrow/trough to plant out with carrots. She told me to thin them or else no carrots but I couldn’t bring myself to kill them. A lot has changed but I am still not successful with carrots even after thinning. I still like things that produce in return even if they never do.

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    • I’m laughing at the thinning business. I have a terrible time either getting to it or continuing to think I will get carrots and beets. On occasion I have had terrific carrots without thinning so I suppose that reinforces the notion that I can skip it. I’ve wondered about buying carrot seed tape. This year I actually thinned some beets and replanted the thinnings in another place in the garden. If I get some decent beets (another nemesis of mine) I’ll try that again next year. Actually I am thinking seriously about limiting my raised bed gardening to things that produce. Forget any kind of squash as the borers always get them. Maybe I will put flowers in my raised beds along with some kale and get the rest at our local farmers market.

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      • Thanks for the Dowding link. I must be doing something wrong. Never had luck even with radishes in the spring, then last fall planted some and had gorgeous State Fair worthy radishes in October and early November. Maybe it was the cooler weather. I will do that again.

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