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Dear Friends and Gardeners: Delays in May

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“I used to visit and revisit it a dozen times a day, and stand in deep contemplation over  my vegetable progeny with a love that nobody could share or conceive of who had never taken part in the process of creation.  It was one of the most bewitching sights in the world to observe a hill of beans thrusting aside the soil, or a rose of early peas just peeping forth sufficiently to trace a line of delicate green.”   ~Nathaniel Hawthorne

 

 

My goodness May has been challenging.  A few hot days, some warm days, but mostly cool days and cold nights with many freezes.  As the garden begins to grow more, I can see what is lost and what is delayed, but more on that later.  There are lots of new flowers showing up daily, like these bleeding hearts and Forget-me-nots above so all is not lost.

But there is a big delay, in the veg beds and cutting garden.  There isn’t a lot to see, since my last post in April, but I will show you how things are coming along a month later….

 

 

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These alliums, onion starts, have not progressed at all, but at least they are not dead.  

 

 

 

lettuces bed

The lettuce bed was dug out, screening laid down to keep out voles, and new soil added (another chore completed).  Then lettuces and greens were planted, and they are growing nice and slow.  The faster growing seeds are the lettuce mix and arugula.  Kale, endive and mustard are also growing here.  Soon I hope to have some herbs and celery planted out.  They are growing in the basement waiting.

 

 

 

pea bed

The pea bed is loving the cold weather, somewhat.  Peas are progressing, and radishes are developing, but they are needing more time to get bigger so we can harvest them with lettuces….hopefully by the end of May.  Once harvested, bush and pole beans will replace them.  I also have spinach growing in this bed, but it is very slow to grow too.  The leafy green plant, you see above, is cilantro, I planted last fall that overwintered, and is growing beautifully in the cooler temps.

 

 

 

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Of course the garlic is huge…over a foot tall.  Other beds are either not planted (tomato bed), or haven’t had much growth….like the root veggies.

 

 

 

fruit bed

The fruit bed is actually growing beautifully.  You can see the blueberries woke up and all have new growth.  Bottom right is the raspberry that is growing again from the base.  And many of the strawberries have flowers, showing we should get some fruit.  You might remember this is a new bed we put in a fallow area that was weeds and mud (it is another garden chore completed).

 

 

 

cutting bed

Even the cutting bed is slow to grow.  Sweet peas are emerging, Stock (Matthiola incana) and California poppies are beginning.  I am waiting for dahlias, gladioli, Cosmos, Cleome and Tithonia to emerge.  Once we get warm to hot weather, the seeds will shoot up, and I should have loads of flowers for vases this summer and fall.

 

 

 

flower seeds

And while I wait for the flower seeds to grow outside, I have hoards growing like crazy in the basement….Tagetes, Alyssum, coleus, begonia, Nicotiana, Antirrhinum, NasturtiumsCleome and Zinnia to name a few.

 

 

 

veggie seeds

Keeping the flowers company, in the basement, are the veggies and herbs.  The tomatillos (top left) are already flowering, and I have transplanted the tomatoes twice.  The peppers (center) are growing fast, and getting a good head start as are the eggplants (top right) finally.  The celery (bottom right) had to be transplanted again, as it gets ready for the lettuce bed.  And the herbs are also taking hold.  These are a few of the basil growing bottom left.  Marjoram, Italian parsley, dill and savory are putting on more growth too.  

I expect to get all of the basement seedlings out by the end of May.

 

 

 

mailbox garden

While I have waited for the warmer weather, so I can work more in the veg garden, I have been busy weeding, and weeding, and weeding.  My Garden Helper edged the Mailbox Garden, while I dug out grass that had encroached everywhere.  Those daffs were still growing with Muscari into mid May.  Also Phlox subulata was flowering, with Aquilegia, hardy geraniums, Dianthus and Nepeta not far behind.  Echinacea, daylily, clematis, lavender, coreopsis, and Achillea millefolium will follow up the spring blooms.  I  will also put some Zinnia here in a week or so.

This bed is really coming along, and I am just about done with moving things around here.  

 

 

 

kidney bed

And we really got a handle on the Kidney Bed which is just up from the Mailbox Garden.  The phone and cable boxes are in this garden, and it straddles the property with our neighbor.  No one lives in the neighbor’s house…actually it is a foreclosure and has been abandoned for 7 years now.  But we hear the bank may try to sell it, so I wanted to clean up this bed, edge it (the Garden Helper did a great job) and rearrange a few plants.

Top left is the back of the bed, as I see it from the house.  The bushes are native Ninebark.  In between them are allium, Muscari and now hardy geranium to create a border as it grows.  As we move clockwise, on the neighbor’s side of the garden, there is Echinacea, culinary sage (Salvia officinalis) and more hardy geranium.  I think it is mostly Geranium sanguineum.  There is daylily and thyme tucked in the middle of the garden, with purple foliage sedum and Heuchera.  On our side of the garden, there is more hardy geranium, sage,  Aquilegia and a couple of lavender.  When I first created this garden it was to be an herb garden, and it still is to some degree.  Also growing throughout the garden is the ground cover, Campanula punctata ‘Plum Wine’.  

This garden has also come a long way, and I think I may be done with it for a while.  Next up is the mess of a Sidewalk Garden now being overtaken by Bedstraw, a weed, also known as Galium aparine.  Oh my aching body.  But I am taking it slow, with frequent breaks so as not to injure myself.  With all the garden foliage making more of a show this May, than flowers, I am linking in with Christina@Creating my own garden of the Hesperides for her Garden Bloggers Foliage Day (GBFD).

 

 

How has your garden been growing this May?  Have you begun to harvest vegetables?

 

 

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In A Vase On Monday 

 

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I went around the garden and collected a small posy to put in my heart Belleek vase.

 

 

 

primrose vase collage

The yellow flowers were my first choice….Golden Alexanders or Zizia aurea, a beautiful native wildflower growing in my garden and meadow.  They have a lovely, light, lemony scent.  Added to that is a deep pink Polyanthus primrose which is still blooming now for almost a month.  The blue is Brunnera with those bright electric blue flowers, that rise like foam above the variegated leaves. 

 

 

 

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And I decided to make a weekly vase to place in my sanctuary…..where I love to meditate, read, journal and sit peacefully in my rocker!

 

 

 

bluebells vase collage

In this vase are many native Virginia bluebells or Mertensia virginica.  Their name is perfect, and I adore the scent.  Added to this are the deep purple blooms of Pulmonaria, some white Epimedium flowers and one stalk of pink Fern Leaf Bleeding Heart (Dicentra eximia), a new native plant in my garden I will be profiling in a couple of months.

I am joining in with a couple of memes this week as I prepare these vases:  Cathy@Rambling in the Garden for her wonderful meme, In a Vase on Monday, and Today’s Flowers hosted by Denise@An English Girl Rambles 2016.

 

 

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Next up on the blog:  
Monday, I will either update the Meadow to show you want is growing or update you on the garden chores.

I am linking in with Michelle for her Nature Notes meme at her blog, Rambling Woods.  It is a great way to see what is happening in nature around the world every Monday. 

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