I know that in some areas to the east of us there has been very heavy rain and storms, and flooding as a result. We've been spared that, and yet the heaviness of the air is so oppressive--and a short walk will have us pouring sweat in a just a few minutes. Yesterday I worked outside, potting flowers, planting, weeding, etc and was completely washed out after a few hours. Larry mowed a little and tinkered with his mower which has been acting up. He has been good about resting his knee and icing it, along with doing the required exercises.
We're moving slow today, both of us having slept in much later than usual, until almost 9 am. A late breakfast, housecleaning and clutter clearing took my morning, and now I am tired again, so decided to take a break and share the photos I took of the gardens yesterday morning.
This first plot is still a work in progress. Larry built the stone wall over a five-year period and we love it, but I struggled with what to do with the space after it was enclosed. Now it holds asparagus, blueberries, currants, red raspberry vines, a grapevine, and garlic and daylilies that self-planted. There is also a small lettuce bed for early planting, and I put in a small patch of onions for green onions, and planted my yellow squash and zucchini in here. I am in the process of mulching the whole thing. There are some pernicious weeds that got in when we had strawberries in here--dock and bindweed, two notoriously bad actors. So I am zapping them with the flamethrower now and will continue to pull, cut, burn and whatever else I can do to keep them to a minimum.
This is usually our early garden, where we grew peas, lettuce, onions, cabbages, etc. This year with the uncertainty over Larry's knee replacement and its impact on our lives, we held off planting--but I could not stand it, so right before he went into the hospital we planted some tomatoes, cabbage and peppers. We put down cardboard and then mulch on top of that because I was worried I would not be able to keep up with weeding. The early plants are doing great, and we have since planted onions, carrots, beets, red cabbage, more peppers and tomatoes, cucumbers, a couple rows of corn, a row of beans and one of potatoes. It won't be like our usual garden but I'm hopeful it will keep us in eating veggies this summer.
Larry built this stone column years ago, intending to make it a fountain. We never did that, but I like it just as it is. The painted planter was made by some of my granddaughters at least 15 years ago. It's the last remaining part of a column of clay pots glued together and painted by the girls. It's cracked now but still holding together. This year I planted herbs in these pots--rosemary, dill and sage. Normally I plant them in a garden but decided to try having them in pots.
I've had these white boots as planters for about 4 years. Drilled holes in the bottom for drainage. They work great.
One corner that I really like, all crooked and rusty. The pot has no bottom but works as a planter anyway. We found it under one of the cabins we moved.
Peonies are in full bloom now, and the scent is just heavenly.
Years ago I dug a small start from a rosebush on an old farm my brother was renting in Virginia. I didn't know where to plant it, so I stuck in this corner "for the time being." That was 30 years ago, or more. I don't know the variety, but it is a lovely full flower with the sweetest scent.
More herbs in planters.
And more roses. When my boys were little I planted these to keep them from pounding a path in the grass instead of walking on the sidewalk. It worked. And 35 years later the roses are still here.
Yet another planter of herbs. I love the varied greens and shapes of herb plants. I plant mostly culinary herbs, and none of them anything fancy--thyme, basil, parsley, oregano, the usual suspects. I once had some extensive herb gardens, and who knows, maybe one day I will do so again.
This chimney stone came out of an old log cabin we tore down to add the second log room to our house. There was a black snake curled up in the hole, and I wish you could have seen Larry flying off that roof--and the snake moving just as fast in the opposite direction!
Oregano and hens-and-chicks. I plan to sell the small planters at the street fair next week.
A story in how when one thing ends, another begins. These iris have not bloomed for years because the spot was too shady for them. They are under an ash tree and as you might have heard, the ash trees are succumbing to the emerald ash borer. This tree is slowly dying--and the light coming through its thinning branches is enough for the iris to bloom. The tree is my bottle tree, and I am going to miss it very much. It was quite a beauty.
Another view of the walled garden.
The weigela has been incredible this year. The spirea bushes beside it were also stunning, now past their bloom. They need to be trimmed but there seem to be some birds nesting in them so we'll wait til next year.
This garden is now home to my strawberries. I think they will do well here. Last week the iris were in full glorious bloom, but the heat has done them in. The little pink poppies are beginning to bloom though.
Another view of this garden. The wagon wheels are only temporary-they'll go to a booth one day.
Larry put this wheelbarrow together from pieces. I think it's pretty cool. That's the lilies of the valley behind it. If you've noticed wire around my gardens that's to keep the dogs out. They think it's electrified (it isn't) and won't go near it! Three years ago they almost destroyed many of my flowerbeds, but now thank goodness that problem has been solved.
My oldest son gave me this sundial about 20 years ago. This year when I was getting out the garden things I noticed that it would fit perfectly into this wrought iron stand.
Waiting to be planted! I got all of these into the ground or into pots yesterday afternoon after taking these photos.
Our neighbor tilled the bigger garden space yesterday morning. What would we do without neighbors?
We will plant this garden later so there will be, I hope, some late garden for canning. Which is good because my June and July will be chock full of storytelling travel, with little time to do more than just maintain here at home. I'm not complaining! It's good to have the work, most of which is for repeat customers for whom I am very grateful.
Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.