Wednesday, June 15, 2011

What Do You Do When You're Not Blogging?

     This is the month of June. I recall what busy outdoor months May and June were when I was growing up. Both my mother and my grandmother kept huge vegetable gardens, and May June were planting months. When I was a toddler, I know I was involved because I recall a story being told repeatedly. I was in my walker out in the yard next to the garden. Strawberries were coming on and mother had picked some into a pan which sat on the grass next to her large garden. Well, little Ann in her walker, "walked" right through that pan of strawberries. Instant strawberry compote! As I got older, I thought I had a very important job of holding the string taught between the posts as a marker for the straight trench my mother made with the hoe along that string. This made sure that the rows of veggies not only grew well, but the garden looked neat and orderly. Straight rows were very important. When I got still older, I was even allowed to plant the beans because they were large seeds and could be handled by little fingers quite effectively. When I was a preteen, the garden wasn't as much fun. One of my jobs then was weeding which I regarded then and still regard today as pretty tedious.

     Well, I don't plant veggies like my mother and grandmother, but I do plant a lot of flowers. And I have a lot of perennials which often need dividing, weeding, fertilizing and deadheading. So that is what I have been doing with my May and June. This spring has been even colder than it usually is in Wisconsin. I think that the flowering shrubs and bulbs were and still are about 3 weeks behind. On Lake Michigan, the leaves on the trees were not out fully until the first week of June. This is truly a phenological record in my memory. No leaves until May 24 -- ridiculous. Well, that is Wisconsin on the lakefront. I actually regard this year as special for me. I thought I would miss the spring, traveling as we did for the whole month of April. But due to the cold, I didn't miss a thing. Our forsythia bloomed for a full 3 weeks -- as did the magnolia. The daffodils sat fully open also for several weeks. Our flowering pear bloomed in June and so did the apple tree. Lilacs were very late as well. I usually like to find a bush somewhere isolated along the road and steal a few blooms. The only bush I saw in bloom was located on the south wall of a house where no doubt there is a warmer micro climate. In other words, the cold spring though annoying has stretched out some of my favorite flowering periods and allowed me to both travel and then return and enjoy this wonderful season.

     Here are some snapshots of my perennial borders with their current blooms and some of the annuals that I have planted. I think these photos show how much I enjoy getting dirt underneath my fingernails.

Apricot colored scented iris.

An unusual red and white columbine.

On left is a cream colored foxglove; right is iris, and behind, some dame's rocket that I allow to grow in my bed and then removed after they have finished blooming.

Some of my potted plants. I usually go with a color combination of shades of pink, and deep purple, combined with chartreuse potato vine and an occasionally yellow or orange accenting marigold or Osteospermia (African daisy).

This clematis vine went berserk flowering this season. The cold must have made it think that an ice age is coming and it better set seed this year.

Lupine. These nicely seed themselves and allow me to have plants to move around the garden.

Somewhat unusual: white bleeding heart. It blooms a little later and lasts a little longer than the pink and white variety.

A dahlia. I dig up the tubers and overwinter them. Some dry up but I often have some to plant.

Irises also went berserk this year. All of my friends are reporting this as well. Several of these beds last year didn't produce any blooms or very few. I was planning on dividing them this year and then, Wow! There is this huge show this year. Again I don't know what made them bloom so profusely this year. Perhaps the tubers were able to grow and spread beneath the snow cover this year. This is only a guess.

Got quite a nice show this year from a very dark purple, almost black iris I had purchased several years ago.

Here is my wild area; my husband calls it the jungle. I have neglected it for several years. Now I am going to re-establish paths through it. There is a lot of dame's rocket as you can see. But there is also a lot of cone flowers, cup plant, rattle snake master, and Echinacea. I am going to rejuvenate it by adding more echinacea from other places in my garden, some shasta daisy, and some of the baby lupine plants.

Our front door flanted by irises, shastas coming into bloom, and potted rose standards.

My back sidewalk.

No comments:

Post a Comment