Thursday, May 30, 2013

A Whirlwind May

Wow! May has come and gone already.
Memorial Day 2013
 To the right is a picture of the front yard on Memorial Day. The Miss Kim Lilac bloomed right on time, some alliums are in the background and the geranium sanguineum has just started to pop. My brother an I celebrated with a good luncheon of bacon-wrapped tenderloin, salad, sweet potato hash and dump cake for dessert. MMmmm.

Meanwhile the work in the nursery goes on at a furious pace. It seems I've only caught up potting when more plants arrive. Must do better scheduling next year and I'll have a much better idea of how much space I have. Added a number of items this year after placing the original orders and grew a boatload of plants from seed. Have been hustling Lupines at the market with gusto as I have such a large seed crop. Next year I'll know better what items I can grow from seed and what it would behoove me to order.

 Erin and I are supposed to be potting mums tomorrow and it has become incredibly hot and sultry - very humid and Erin has trouble in the heat. I'm trying to get her going early in the day when it is cooler but she doesn't want to start until 10.... I hope she can put in a couple of hours. We'll be doing them at Vicki's and putting them on the floor of the greenhouse. A temporary measure for sure as I know they'll resent the heat, but I've nowhere to put them in my yard. Trying to keep the extra plants here while we work on Vicki's yard and get some gardens ready for the open house on June 23rd.

Meanwhile for Tootsie Time's Fertilizer Friday "Flaunt Your Flowers" - I've taken quite a few mug shots of the nursery gardens. Have packed a lot of plants into my 33x120' lot and do close-ups so you don't see all the junk and weeds in the background! Here is the garden tour this week:

Baptisia and coral bells

 One of my very favorite plants - Baptisia or Blue False Indigo just starting to bloom with some coral bells in the foreground. Baptisia will form a lovely blue-green shrub to 3-4' with a spread as wide and can become an anchor in the border.
Globe Alliums

Planted these globe alliums lots of years ago and they come back reliably and have even reseeded. I didn't invest in the huge "Globemaster" or one of the fancy named cultivars, just the species and they are pretty striking this time of year. I think I would like them played off a dark green or plain background but I don't have any of that - I'll make a mental design note for any gardens I design...



Berries are becoming plentiful this time of year. Amelanchier or Serviceberry has a good fruit set and I've got Jostaberry - sorry for the crummy photo, wind was blowing- which is a cross between red currant and gooseberry and doesn't carry the white pine blister rust. The blueberries which did so well last year also have a good fruit set, must mean my bumblebees have been busy.

Blueberries just setting fruit

Hope to put in the huckleberries, honeyberries and strawberries into a patch at Vicki's if she'll let me. I love having small fruits in the backyard. You can just go out and pick a few for cereal or yogurt and buy the big flats of them when you do the canning or freezing.

Painted Fern
Variegated Helenium(?)
Variegated Solomon's Seal

Foliage is always fresh and some of the variegated forms are just spectacular as they emerge this time of year. I love the lacy gray and purple fronds of the painted fern.

The Helenium (?) I think - is an addition off the sale rack at the end of last year. Really need to strike a few cuttings of that and put it up against the fence at Vicki's to show off it's great veined foliage.

The Solomon's Seal is a gift from Janet who brought over two - count 'em - TWO - big yard waste bags of them last fall. I tried to pot them but the darn things were just too big and weird to get into a one gallon. So I left the bags to break and rot and go to h-e-double toothpicks. They are definitely hardy - they just rooted in a big clump on top of the ground and they're off to the races. I like where they've chosen to grow so I'll leave them until I pot a few later preferably into two gallons. By the way, the variegated Solomon's Seal is this year Perennial Plant Association Plant of the Year. Quite a nice choice, I'd say.

That's the tour for this week. Next week more things will be emerging and growing and I should have some shots of the garden I'm planting over in front of Vicki's privacy fence. Wonderful backdrop for lots of form and texture in quite a bit of shade....Wish me luck!


  1. Lots of nice plants in your gardens. I planted a yellow baptisia last year and look forward to seeing it bloom.

    1. Thanks for your comments, I love Baptisia - have only grown the blue - going to try selling little starts of it by cutting the flowers and showing them off at market...


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