Sunday, May 29, 2011

Let's Just Skip Spring...

In my heart & soul & the dirt under my nails, I've been living in Summer since May 1st. The birds wake me up earlier & earlier these days - 4:30 a.m. to be exact - and all I want to do is go outside to watch things grow!

So, instead of waiting for Spring to do something, I've decided to move on. It's late - much later than usual, but when the sun shines, you can feel that it's summer. Who cares that the lilacs are just starting to bloom (3 weeks behind schedule) or that the peas & beans are growing at the same rate or that I've still got a few daffodils showing pretty faces in unusual places - I'm moving on!

- pink lilac -
- rhodo -
The pink lilac blooms are pretty thin, but they are still on the shrub & starting to open up. Maybe the deer can't find them amongst all the other things I've planted around them!

I've been hesitant to purchase a rhododendron because I'm so picky about my colour scheme. Last year I broke down & bought what I thought would be a white bloomer. It came out pink.... barbie doll pink in it's initial flush, but it's starting to fade into white, so I might not shudder so much when I look at it...

- rhubarb -
- bachelor button -
Ahhh, rhubarb - a typical spring harvest-able fruit. I just picked a bunch more stalks off these plants today, which will make it the 3rd harvest this year. I think I might give them a break for the rest of the summer.

My perennial bachelor buttons are starting to bloom & of course, they are in the wrong spot. But I've decided to let my flower beds 'do their thing' this year so that I can get a better feel for what works & what doesn't & just make notes for next year in regards to dividing & transplanting. Last fall, I went a little nuts with collecting plants from around the yard that were 'in the wrong spot' & this spring, have had a tough time finding spots for them all.

- lupin -
The lupin is doing very well in it's home - it's huge, of course & crowding out other plants & yes, it will be purple... I have a rather large selection of plants that are pink or purple, which is hard to bear when I purposely select plants that are white, yellow or red. Funny how Mother Nature will change things to suit Her sense of style.
- flower bed -

But the flower beds are starting to settle in & come along. I keep saying that I want to incorporate vegetables into my flower beds to add character, texture & to hide potential targets from insects, but my over-enthusiastic planting of herbs gets in the way & I need the space flower beds provide for all the herbs I grow!

- east flower bed -
So what do I do? I create new flower beds... This one on the east side of the house is relatively 'empty' & has become the depository for random seeds & transplants rescued from other areas of the yard. I just hope to keep on top of ripping out the brambles for the next few years to see what develops here! If the birds would let it alone...
- front flower bed -

I can already see that I will have an issue with my front deck flower bed. It's wonderfully lush right now - a much better sight than during the winter, but I've planted many 'invasive' type plants in here: foxglove & goldenrod along the deck to help disperse the water which drips down from the upper deck edge (causes soil to slip down the slope), lady's mantle & fever few mid-way down the slope (also to stop the movement of soil), ajuga & basket of gold along the front edge. Everything about this flower bed is to stop the movement of soil - but the plants are getting a little out of hand. Again - I'm not touching it this year - I really want to see how things handle themselves. Besides - I've got my invisible deer fence in place (re-bar & fishing twine) & moving it so I can get in is a pain.

- veggie bed #1 -
Things are just as eager to grow as I am to watch them grow. The veggie beds aren't doing too bad & I've tried to follow my Plan as best I can - which doesn't say much for my note-taking skills anymore. I write a Plan, bring it with me & then get carried away. I do know that I've not yet planted the carrots or parsnips...
- veggie bed #2 -

The hardier & more perennial plants in the veggie beds are taking over - the sorrel looks like it needs to be harvested - AGAIN! I can usually count on 3 good harvests, of which I make it all into sorrel pesto, but since I didn't eat all from last year & I've already got a good harvest in the freezer from earlier this month, I don't know if I should harvest & compost it, or let the plants go to seed. Oh wait... that would just lead to sorrel taking over the gardens & I've got enough of it already!

I seem to sense a theme in this post - gardener letting go & nature taking over... Isn't that how it's supposed to go? Would probably make for an easier time instead of constantly fighting with things... hmmmm....

- front veggie bed -
I've got a couple raised beds that have yet to be 'deer proofed' & I'm wondering if they eat potato leaves? If not, I hope they don't notice the butternut squash growing along side them.

- bean sprouts -
Bean sprouts are always a joy to see emerging, but why is it the robins love them too?? Not that they generally eat them, but they love to pull them up. I need to get my floating row cover out to protect them til they are a bit larger.

Robins - you chickens of my gardens - can come back later when the plants are a bit larger. I'm sure they are the ones who are keeping the slugs out of the beds!

So, most of the seeds are in, chaos is going to reign this year & I'm going to try to take better notes (or at least more photos) to figure things out. I'm learning that the K.I.S.S. formula is imperative for gardening out here on the coast [that's: Keep It Simple Sweetheart]

Summer - I'm ready for you! Bring it on!!

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