Friday garden news: May 24

What a bloomiferous week in the garden. All the early spring stuff is completely finished, and all the late spring stuff has suddenly done its thing. Oriental poppies are blooming. Bearded iris is blooming. Siberian iris. Verbascum. Foxglove. Sambucus. Sweet peas. Columbines (though they’ve been going for a while.) Honey garlic. Even the Spotty Dotty’s buds are cracking open, which fills me with glee. Speaking of podophyllums, I have two hexandrum seedlings. I know, right? One white and one pink. I am chuffed.

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Unfortunately things are not going so well with veg. Hardly any beans have come up. One of my kale plants keeled over. The radishes failed to develop this year. Tomatoes and artichokes are merely slow and steady. The only glory now, and it is a glory indeed, is the lettuce. It’s still tender and sweet and we are eating it up as fast as we can.

It’s been a week of contrasts, weather-wise. It started out dark and wet and chilly and has ended that way too, with two days of sun and warmth (heat?) in the middle. Suffice it to say my plants are equals parts confused and pleased.

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This week I have edged, weeded, deep-watered, and mulched the first two sections of the righthand border. Section 1, I won’t lie, wrecked me. It has sleepers laid behind it to form borders for the auxiliary currant & rhubarb bed, and I had to dig grass roots out from under it. That section had also been invaded by creeping achillea and a giant blackberry root. I got it all out and moved most things in that section prior to mulching, because oh well.

Section 2 was a doddle in comparison. Now I am out of mulch and waiting for a new pile to be delivered tomorrow.

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I have given up on the round corral as a place to plant anything, and moved my specimen peony collection into the driveway garden. This area is sub-optimal for peonies because it gets only a partial day’s sunlight, but I have bearded iris blooming under the same conditions so I figure the peonies can hack it for now.

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I cleaned up generally in the planting-plants-I’ve-bought department. I have three out of four Spanish lavenders planted here and there now, planted the trio of hostas I bought as a just-in-case measure in March, planted my ground orchids in the shade garden, and put seedling globe thistles along the back of LHB4. Those sunny borders need a solid background of plants. I’m going to fill them in with globe thistles and hollyhocks (I have started some Halo Series seedlings). Dahlias can go in front. Speaking of dahlias, hus-tree and I received our emergency replacement tubers from Easy To Grow Bulbs and planted them. We each bought an assorted mix and…I don’t know. Two of mine had sprouts. The others looked a little dodgy. The tubers in mixes are not as nice as the single-variety ones, for future reference.

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Last piece of progress this week was planting my cucurbits. Zucchini seeds went in, and winter squashes Butterscotch and Sweet Dumpling, as well as…oh dear…full size pumpkins Autumn Crown, Valenciano, Fairytale, Lumina White, and Blue Jarrahdale. If these vines grow to full size they’ll swamp the veg patch, but I don’t think they will. Frankly, I’m worried about them germinating at all.

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