Six on Saturday – Now I know Why… August 18, 2018

Welcome to six photos from my garden this week. Walking around to take SoS photos gets me to notice things I would otherwise miss.

  1. Now I know why I didn’t pull out (I almost did) the bronze fennel. This morning there were three black swallowtail caterpillars munching on the lacy foliage. I had been watching the parsley and almost missed them.

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2. I stuck some Joe Pye weed cuttings in a pot a month ago. Some have rooted. They are destined to an area where I took out some large old Joe Pye plants last fall. That turned out to be a mistake. Joe Pye didn’t mind being in that soggy bed by the shed. So these will get planted there. There is a cultivar that doesn’t get as tall which I need to source. I typically cut back the wild Joe Pye to half to keep it in check.

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3. The fragrant hostas are blooming. Can anyone tell me what the blue flowered plant is? It self seeds and can get aggressive in this bed, but I like the blue spikes at the same time this hosta blooms.IMG_7079

4. Monarda “Grand Marshall” has finally bloomed. I bought three plants from a catalog in the spring and when they came the plants were so pathetic I knew I couldn’t put them in the ground. They survived and thrived in the pot and will get planted out next spring. Grand Marshall is not as tall as the other monarda I have in the garden and is not supposed to be as susceptible to mildew. I love the color.

5. The load of chips arrived. What we get depends on what the crews are cutting. This time it was a huge pile of red cedar. You see the fan my husband set up to cool himself off when he was loading the wheel barrow. It wasn’t that hot, but very humid. Typical Maryland summer weather. I like the contrast of the cedar chips on other paths in the garden. It will weather, but for the moment it’s pretty and fragrant. I lifted the slate and then replaced it once the chips were down. It’s a little wobbly to start but will settle.

 

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6.  A task for next week. I had taken metal hoops from a couple of half wine barrels that rotted away. I put down some landscape cloth beneath them and filled them with driveway gravel. They are sinking into the ground and I need to get the gravel up before it gets lost. I’ll cover this path with cedar chips. To the right front in this photo is the variagated liriope that the rabbits like to snack on. I have that same liriope in other parts of the garden and they don’t bother it. Perhaps these small clumps are closer to their den which I suspect is under the shed.

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That’s my six for this week, a meme started by The Propogator, a UK gardener. This is the link to the rules if you’d like to join in.

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.

Six on Saturday – Getting an Early Start – 7-14-18

  1. It’s too hot to work in the garden past 10 a.m. I can begin watering early, but on this particular morning the colors in the sky beckoned me to walk to the water’s edge so I abandoned hoses for watching the sun rise on the Miles River.

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2. When I got back to the house a few minutes later, I fastened on my toolbelt and began working. I don’t know where I acquired this small toolbelt but I couldn’t garden without it. There is a place that perfectly holds a pair of Fiskars scissors. The orange handles mean I don’t often lose them. They are inexpensive and the tool I use as much as my Felco pruners. This time of year I carry a roll of plastic tape with me as there always seems to be something that needs tying up. And I always have to have something for a drippy nose.

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3. The dusty miller is blooming. I don’t remember seeing it bloom before. This variety wintered over in a pot where a slip of coreopsis was tucked in this spring. It keeps blooming as long as I deadhead it.  The  whorls on the upper left are the remainders of clematis blooms.

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4. Rudbeckia is beginning to bloom and will be gorgeous in another week or so. They droop in these dry conditions but perk up after watering. They are a reliable perennial in my garden withstanding flooding and drought and clay soil.

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5. The veggie beds are not producing well with the heat and dry conditions, but I am harvesting cucumbers. The bumble bees are busy on the cucumber blossoms. The *&%$ squirrels ate the two gorgeous Shah tomatoes I had a photo of last week. I was not happy!  My bed of tomatoes at the community garden is beginning to produce. I’ll be canning tomato sauce in a couple of weeks

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6. Quite a few of the Hens and Chicks (Sempervivum succulents) are sending up blooming stalks. The rosette at the bottom of the stalk will die so there will be some maintenance required on these hypertufa planters I made last fall. I have tried some of the other colors of sempervivums, but the green ones reliably winter over and spread for me.

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I hope you enjoy my Six on Saturday for this week. The meme was started by The Propogator, a UK gardener. This is the link to the rules if you’d like to join in.