“Better to do something imperfectly than to do nothing flawlessly.” ~Robert H Schuller
April was a bit of a roller coaster. It started warm and hot, then cold, and finally warm, sunny and pleasant. That was just the first 2 weeks. So it seemed a perfect time to start my veg garden. Of course I knew the cold weather would be back. Howling winds, snow, and frigid cold with temps at night just hovering around freezing….days barely 50 all this past week.
To get started, we had to figure out a way to deal with the voles who were getting into the veg beds. We thought we would try out our idea on the pea/bean bed. We dug out the wonderful soil and laid metal screening along the inside of the bed. Then we filled it, and topped it off with compost. The overhanging screening was cut and laid against the outside of the bed and held in place with gravel.
We are hoping the screening will keep the voles from digging in through the bottom of the beds. The bed was planted with sugar snap peas and radishes. The radishes should be ready for harvest in 4 weeks just in time to use the bed for bush beans, pole beans and cucumbers.
I added a new portable 4’x4′ bed to the patio so we would have more planting area. It is lined with the same material as my grow bags. Lettuces and other greens like mustard and spinach were planted here. In about a month, green chiles (planted around the edges), and baby watermelons (growing up a trellis) will be added here.
The bed closest to the gazebo will have herbs and winter/summer squashes growing up trellises in a month. For now carrots, beets, chard, endive and arugula are planted under the trellises. As you can see I covered all the beds with row covers which they definitely needed given the weather that occurred after these beds were planted.
Do you see the green container on the patio next to the new bed? That is where I planted kale. It has to be covered all season to keep the Cabbage White butterflies from using it as a larval host plant. Do you see the 2 long beds between the covered beds? One is a garlic bed which will also have pumpkins growing up a trellis in about a month. The other also has some garlic and will also have tomatoes, peppers, okra and eggplant planted in late May.
I have been trying to improve my rhubarb growing. I originally had 2 plants around the pond. They never did very well so I dug them up and planted them in the side garden (lower right). Last year I added a new plant in the side garden and it is growing quite well (left). It will be my only plant to harvest this year.
I also bought 5 plants last fall and heeled them into one of my veg beds. We dug them up, and 4 survived. We amended the area next to the new bed (top right) and planted the new rhubarb plants. You can see they are small, but I hope they will grow this year so next spring, we will be harvesting lots of rhubarb finally….oh and so far none of the critters seem to like the rhubarb….I hope that continues.
Last fall we cleaned out this bed that is in the far back of the garden near the gazebo rain garden. It was filled with blackberry suckers. We moved some smaller blueberry bushes, some starter native blueberry bushes, and some strawberry plants here. We mulched them and netted them to keep the bunnies and deer out of the bed. But a couple of weeks ago, I noticed some rabbit activity. Seems a hole was in the netting and the rabbits are now using the bed as a nest. X marks the spot. More on that story as it unfolds….
I started pansy/viola from seed in late January, and they were ready to be planted out in mid-April. Some were already blooming. I filled my antique containers. You can see one up close at the beginning of the post.
I also filled these containers, and a few more as there were over 60 plants. And I also planted nasturtium seeds in these pots so when the pansy/viola are finished blooming, the nasturtiums will grow until fall.
I will take the pansy/viola out of the containers once the weather warms and plant them in a protected area so they can hopefully bloom again in fall or go to seed.
The seeds have been slow to germinate with the cold snap we had, but this week with the warmer weather I hope to see them jump ahead. Here are the seeds I planted outside.
I will update all the transplanting I did in the basement, and any progress in the veg beds next week, with my Garden Journal post.
Have you started any veggies or flowers outside?
In A Vase On Monday
Not many other flowers are blooming with the cold weather of late. So I decided to pick some new and old blooms for a few vases.
I love this birdhouse on my mantel. A gift from a dear friend. And these vases look wonderful here. I paired the recently blooming hyacinths with some daffs with orange centers. And the little jug vase, I just found tucked away in my cabinet, looks great with the newly blooming Muscari and still blooming Puschkinia scilloides.
I really love these daffs. I do not remember their names, but one has a single trumpet and the other what appears to be a double trumpet, both orange. The scent of the hyacinths wafts throughout the downstairs and even travel up the stairs…..heavenly.
I have wanted to float some hellebores in a bowl since seeing many others do this a couple of months ago. So I used my wonderful Mikasa bowl and chose 4 different varieties of Helleborus orientalis. I placed it on my little bench in front of my desk. Those are antique school books, from the 1800s.
And lastly, I combined a few Muscari, Puschkinia scilloides, an extra Helleborus orientalis and a few sprigs of Corydalis solida ‘Beth Evans’. I thought it looked cute with my blue cover Nancy Drew books from the 1950s, and my collection of Beatrix Potter little books.
So there are my vases this week. I am joining in with a few memes this week as I prepare this vase: Cathy@Rambling in the Garden for her wonderful meme, In a Vase on Monday, Today’s Flowers hosted by Denise@An English Girl Rambles and Judith@Lavender Cottage who hosts Mosaic Monday.
Next up on the blog:
Next Monday, I will my garden Journal as I review the April garden.
I am linking in with Michelle for her Nature Notes meme at her new blog just for Nature Notes. It is a great way to see what is happening in nature around the world every Tuesday.
I am also joining in I Heart Macro with Laura@Shine The Divine that happens every Saturday.
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