Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Tick Tock Time

They say as you get older time seems to fly by quicker.  Well sometimes that's true, but other times it seems to creep by... hmmmm.... that's how I feel all winter long!  It's been well over a month since I last posted, but I have been doing lots of work in the garden, and when I'm not doing that I've been lurking and enjoying all of your posts. 

This spring has been a blur for me in terms of the garden.  Mostly because the weather has been so unseasonably warm hot that I haven't had a chance to really enjoy it. Spring is my favorite season and I always enjoy relishing it as though I'm sipping slowly on a nice hot cup of tea after a walk on a rainy spring day.

The early heat has been a challenge for this New England gardener as the peonies (one of my favorite flowers) bloomed a full 3 weeks early.  So early in fact that I didn't have time to stake them (nothing new) and when they did finally bloom we got nothing but a week of rain and summer-like torrential thunderstorms that made most of my beautiful blooms either fall off or kiss the ground.  By the time the weather cleared up the peonies were done for the season .... *snap* ....just like that.... gone until next year.  No pictures taken, no blooms brought inside to enjoy.... *sigh*  I keep telling myself at least it's better than snow!

Here is a pic taken right before the peonies bloomed....

The pansies which usually don't fade until mid-June in my area are way past their prime.  So out they will go over the next few days to be replaced by summer petunias and zinnias.  The spring veggies have bolted quicker than lightening.  I'd normally be picking leaves all through June, but I had to pull out the spinach out yesterday (I blanched and froze what was left) to make room for something else (probably a late planting of carrots).  The lettuce is soon to follow as it is bolting too, but I'll sow some more seeds with a summer variety.

Bolting spinach...  a few days later they were twice this size!  Off to the far left of the picture is some broccoli and purple cabbage which are doing nicely and won't be ready to harvest until July probably.

On the plus side, the summer veggies are taking off much earlier than usual.  Below are the 3 summer veggie beds I planted on Memorial Day weekend.  These little babies are already much bigger so maybe this year we'll actually get some early tomatoes!  Planted in these are:  yellow squash, zucchini, tomatoes, bell peppers, eggplant, bush beans, and cucumbers.

Also on the plus side, beside the small stretch of really wet weather (of course when the peonies were blooming .... always when they bloom), we've had dryer than usual weather.  This has been a wonderful change from last year where it rained almost non-stop from May - September (no kidding!).

Apart from the veggie gardening, I've reworked my shade garden and added lots of coral bells.  These are my new favorite plant and I think I have at least 6 different varieties.  I'll post about them in the future.  This bed also has some yellow deadnettle, irises (done for the season), toad lilies, yellow primroses, lamium, several varieties of hostas, astilbe, and brunnera macrophylla.

And, I've added a butterfly garden (this is a work in progress.... I intend to add more, but it's a good start I think).  Here's the before picture (just a clemantis). 

And, the after picture - here's what's been added:  A cobalt blue glass bird bath, shasta daisies, cone flowers, bee balm (still stalky babies), dinner plate dahlias - I started indoors (they should grow as tall as the fence, but right now they are shorter than the bee balm), balloon flowers, yellow coreopsis (didn't make this picture), lavender, mixed asylum, pink gaura, and, blue salvia.  There's also a tall butterfly bush (out of the picture below but you can see it in the "before" pic above) that I had to trim back considerably.  I've had it for years and it was just way too large. 

Besides the butterfly garden Andy and I also built a small shade garden next to our hot tub.  This area gets only dappled sun all day (so it's not easy to get a picture with the right light).  The only thing that grew here before was moss, but now there are several varieties of hostas, begonias, lilithrope, coleus, and impatience.  I'd like to add some more perennials in the fall to replace the impatience, but for now I think it's a good start.  We've dedicated the garden to Andy's dad who passed last fall.  This little red shed was on his back patio near the stairs and he put some handles on the roof of it so he could use it for leverage to go down the stairs that didn't have a railing at the time.  We have named this garden "JP's Garden" after him.  I want to make a small sign to put on the shed with his name.

Well that about wraps up this post.  In closing here are some more sights from around our garden.  These pictures were taken in May of this year.  .... now if we could only freeze time for a bit so I can enjoy the garden a little longer...  but, like life it's always changing! 


Carrie said...

I am in awe. You're garden is beautiful and the planting is carefully thought out and so many lovely foilage colours for year long interest. I look forward to seeing the butterfly garden fill out (I want that blue bath bath..may have to steal it). Sorry about the peonies, they are such gorgeous flowers it's such a pity you didn't get to appreciate them. The weather here is totally unpredictable and the weathermen/women are losing their creditablity with me - grrr.
Keep posting, I thought you were just keeping me on tender hooks, sorry you haven't been the best. Thank you so much for your comment - you are so kind. Hugs galore xxx

Elsa said...

Beautiful pictures from your garden. You have a really great garden.
After a long and hard winter, and a long and cold spring my garden is now slowly starting to grow. Sadly many plants and roses has died during the winter.

Angel said...

Glad to see your back :) You've been a busy girl...haha Everything looks Wonderful!! I'm with you on the Peonies & Lettuce.
I remember the Peonies opening now. I would work the polls @ the elections , come home for lunch, walk the garden and the Peonies would just be opening. And now they are all finished,and the lettuce is bolting .....sigh
The garden you made In Memory is Lovely, how nice:) Everything looks just Wonderful!
Enjoy your garden :)

Joanne said...

Gosh what a well organised garden lovely planting and not a weed dare show it's face. Lovely.

Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

You didn't waste any time! You've done so much! All the additions to your garden look so good, Jackie! Foxgloves are beautiful, and the coral bells of different colors are lovely! Your post tells me that I should spend less time in front of my computer and more time in the garden. I have only one excuse - it was raining almost non-stop all May.

Michelle@Fromhousetohome said...

Your garden is beautiful! I really enjoyed looking at all the pictures. I for one am happy for the inspiration! I'm sorry you didn't get to enjoy the peonies. Ours were brief this year as well, the rain had them weighed down. Also, the ants seem to love them for some reason. I need to find a way to avoid that for next year. I'd love to cut them and bring them in but they are always covered in ants. Any ideas on that? I'm still learning as a gardner, I have a long way to go.

Enjoy your week and happy to see you back!

Marydon Ford said...

Jackie ~ Your gardens are absolutely gorgeous! Everything is so beautifully set & your veggies are delicious to view. Don't you just love digging in the dirt ... I have more fun & peaceful moments amongst the gardens.

Have a beau-TEA-ful week.
TTFN ~ Marydon