Happy Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day!
Things are cooking along in our garden…
Here’s what’s blooming…
Salmon pink geranium
There’s a theme here…
Most of the front yard is pink this year. I’m just in this very pink place and I’m loving it!
I’d like to post some broader photos but I’m not feeling quite that brave.
There’s gaps and paint that needs some work. Maybe we’ll get to that soon.
We have several knockout rose bushes which will bloom all summer long, no painting needed…
I just planted this clump of daisies that I won at Garden Club in June. They’re on their second bloom.
I believe that this is obedient plant, or a volunteer foxglove? We’ve discussed this other years and I’m quite sure that the consensus was obedient plant.
Lovage flower, not too lovely, but interesting..
This is the very first purple coneflower, and a friend 🙂
The beginning of the black-eyed Susan and day lilies…
Liatris, just getting started..
One of my favorite day lilies
I believe that this is a very old type of rudbekia. It’s originally from the Derby Garden at the Salem Maritime National Historic Site, but I’ve had it for years.
Much newer pink gaura
and Peach Blossom Blanket flower..
We’ve been selling lots of blanket flower at my workplace so I had to plant some and I’m enjoying it. It seems to be very tolerant of changes in temperature and humidity and it’s very compact and low growing, so perfect at the front of a bed. I’ll keep you posted as the summer goes on.
What’s blooming in your garden? Be sure to visit May Dreams Gardens and check out the links to gardens all over the world. It’s so much fun to look around from there!
Take care and enjoy!
Oh my goodness… It’s been a month.. and I have a million posts written in my head but not one made it’s way to my blog. I’m sorry!
People ask questions at work that would be great posts all the time. I need to write about the experience of serving people in a garden center and share some of that. I love the questions! Some are very common and happen all day (is it the annual or the perennial that comes back every year?) and some are surprises. Let’s just say I’m learning a lot about plants and gardening so I’m probably much happier than the average garden center employee.
I wish I had about five more hours in the day. I think I’d feel perfectly balanced and on top of everything if I did.
Then, there’s the garden…
That keeps us busy.
This isn’t exactly the epic gardening year that I always think it’s going to be, but we’re doing okay. It’s been quite dry so the watering is non-stop. I think I lost my garlic crop to neglect and I feel badly about that, but it happens.
On the bright side, the potatoes are doing well. These are kennebec and we have three pots of them. I like growing them in pots because the disease and critter issues decrease a lot when they’re protected by the wall of the container.
The sungold tomatoes did better than I expected. My tomatoes went through a rough patch when I was just too busy with work and end of the school year commitments to take care of them, but many have rebounded nicely. This variety does great in a pot.
I think that’s a little spider web, but some of you may know better. Is it going to be okay?
The blueberry bushes are clinging to life. This is so sad because they were great last year. I’m still blaming that extreme cold(-10) few days for this. I’d welcome any ideas for organically fertilizing and shoring them up.
The lovage has lept. I love leaping lovage. It tastes like celery and it looks so cool.
Most of our kaleidoscope mix and chocolate beauty pepper plants are still with us. The bunnies got a few of them.
These rattlesnake beans came from seeds that Michael’s uncle gave us when we were in Arizona in January. I’m waiting for them to climb their poles but they’re just sitting there teasing me!
This is Russian kale and it’s sweet! I’m using it as a vegetable, and as a filler in containers. Stay tuned for a better look at that on Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day on the fifteenth.
Here’s a few more tomato plants that I had given up hope on.
I believe my exact words to Michael were “we’re going to have to go buy some tomato plants.”
He wasn’t too happy about that since they’d been living on our pool table for quite a while.
You just never know if things are going to come back…
The opalka tomatoes are too, along with the strawberry plants that I thought we had lost a few years ago.
It’s late, but there’s basil growing and there’ll be plenty of time to enjoy it. This variety is Osmin from Pinetree Seeds. I need to do rock removal everywhere. They look huge next to the seedlings, don’t they?
And this is lemon basil. and little rocks.
If it all survives the critters it should be a foot high for my next What’s Happening update.
The lettuce is awesome, I need to plant some more asap!
And then there’s the onions… remember my onions last year?
Here they are! They were fabulous!
I’m not so sure about this year’s crop. They’re competing for space with a chipmunk and it’s been quite a battle. Those furrows that you see in the middle of the photo of this year’s onions are the chipmunk’s mark.
I know chippys are cute, and they have stripes on their back, and they sing in a movie…
But, I’d like for them to stay away from the garden. That’s all..
So this may be my favorite photo of this post, if not the whole season. Michael is using rhubarb leaves as mulch! I have a zillion questions about whether or not this is a good idea, but I think it’s really creative. Will it work, I don’t know? Are those leaves okay for the soil? I’m not sure… but they look great!
I caved and planted store bought zucchini plants, so far so good.
Same with the cucumber. This isn’t a great photo but I got these bamboo hoops from freecycle a few years ago and I love them. I hope the plants grow up over them again.
Mother Swiss chard and baby swiss chard are happy together.
So are our new baby chicks. This is one of the easter eggers.
We also have another Easter egger, two white leghorns, two Buckeyes and a Black Giant.
The black Giant is going to weigh ten pounds and she already rules the roost.
I’m loving our new little flock this year. These chicks seem special, maybe because with the exception of the EEs, they’re all new breeds to us.
If you’re still reading I need to say thank you so so much, this is a long post!
If I posted more often, they could be quite short, and easy to read.
How’s your garden growing? Leave me a comment so I can check in with you 😉 I love to hear about how you’re doing!
Here’s a little bit of what’s blooming here today! The wind was blowing, so there’s some blur here and there, but you get the idea.
Be sure to visit May Dreams Gardens by clicking here to see gardens in bloom all over the world!
Check out this great news story about the gardening program here at our very own Salem High School! My kids have benefited time and again from Mr Marcoux’s classes and the many educational opportunities that he provides, and our district is truly supportive of garden based learning at every grade level. I’m feeling very fortunate to be part of our wonderful, creative community.
Good morning! Happy June! We’ve made it past Memorial Day weekend and here I am AGAIN apologizing for my inability of publish anything at all here on The Salem Garden. I think about and write posts in my head all. the. time. and yet I just can’t get the hour or two needed to sit down and publish something constructive.
I think it has a lot to do with the five kids, husband, multiple animals, garden in spring and the still newish part-time job. About the job, it’s really quite good. The work is physically hard and very good for me mentally. I love the plants, the task of finding spaces and figuring out where to put things and getting paid to work out for four or five hours, four days a week. Lord knows I wouldn’t do it any other way. My co-workers are great and I enjoy the customers. It’s fun to listen to shoppers interact with each other and ask questions. I believe that if I blogged about the questions I’d probably have an award winning garden blog here.
I just need more time!
Here at home lots has been happening in our garden. We’ve had nice weather. It’s been warm enough, yet kind of cool. Things were getting pretty dry, but we’ve had several good rains in the last few weeks.
I’m very happy to report that I got the deck decorated nice and early this year so it’s already heaven on earth. I love to sit here when I have a few minutes.
My little fish Pepper loves the deck too because that’s where his summer house is (he spends the winters on my kitchen counter). I put this barrel together with plants from a great nursery that specializes in ponds. If you’re a local water gardener, be sure to visit Country Gardens in Ipswich. They have everything you could ever need and it’s a fun place to look around.
The herb garden is filling in nicely. It looks like the foxglove that I planted last year is going to flower!
Iris are in bloom! I love iris.
Down in the kitchen garden we’re in the fence business this year because we’re sharing our space with a family of bunnies. Bunnies munch a lot.
In fact they munched the beejeebees out of the peas that I planted in March. Here are two of the five or six that survived. I’ve noticed that in the few days since the gates went up they’ve started to grow again. I’m not sure that we’ll have enough peas to serve a bowl on the Fourth of July, but there may some for a salad or two.
I planted all of my tomato plants (about 40 altogether) even though they were neglected and got kind of leggy. This is what happens when you don’t move your seedlings to a larger pot. I knew that, but repotting them just didn’t happen. I’m going to stake these asap and hope for the best.
I had to share a picture of this horseradish because I think it’s going to take over the world. If you want horseradish, just let me know and I’ll dig some up for you in the fall.
The lettuce is finally edible, thanks to the bunny gates.
The swiss chard (on the right) wintered over and is picking up again. I need to learn to incorporate it into summer recipes better. The spinach (on the left) is starting to grow, but I’m worried that it’s going to bolt as soon as it gets hot.
Our garlic looks quite happy. It may be a big year for garlic around here.
Not so much for the asparagus… I should plant some new sets of roots. I’ve been wondering if we’ve over harvested it for the past couple of years because some of our plants didn’t come back this year. Any thoughts on why we’d loose asparagus plants?
These are kaleidoscope mix and chocolate beauty peppers. They’re on the outside of the wooden fence so I’m hoping that this metal fence is enough to keep the creatures away.
The onions need to be planted, like… now…
I grew coleus from seed this year and I’m pretty pleased with the results. I’d like to increase the number of flower/annual seedlings that I grow myself. It’s very easy and saves lots of money. Sometimes I winter coleus over in pots inside too.
Speaking of seeds, I still have a lot to go in. Carrots, zucchini, cucumbers, multiple flowers… I need to get out there and get these in the ground!
And finally, these ladies arrived on Mother’s Day.
We have two new White Leghorns, two Buck-eyes (the first chicken breed developed by a woman), two Easter Eggers and a Black Giant…
The Black Giant thinks she’s all that… lol..
What’s happening in your garden? I hope that you’ve been out there planting something.
Happy May Day!
Our male mallards are on the pond while their sweeties sit on their nests.
Flowers are blooming, hosta has made it’s way out of the ground and it looks like I have a new maple tree growing in my tulip patch.
… all good signs of spring!
Michael cleaned out our perennial beds and they are bursting with new life. I have to give him all of the credit for this task because he just does it.
I’m always watching and waiting for my slithery friends at this time of the year so I tend to procrastinate and step lightly. He dives right in and finishes before I get my shoes on!
The rhubarb is making a nice snake shelter. As long as they stay under there we’ll be just fine.
We have a little row of spinach coming along..
Yes, there are rocks but that’s okay.
I keep pulling them out, one rock at a time…. for the rest of my life.
These peas took a few weeks to germinate and I was a little worried, but now they’re going to climb!
The first crop of lettuce is almost ready to eat. It’s time to plant some more.
And what do we have here?
NOTHING, my friends… the kale must have been plucked away by the birds because it’s gone, and the onions haven’t sprouted yet. Sometimes onions take awhile or don’t grow at all.
Most bloggers wouldn’t show you this picture, but I want you to see that it happens to everyone and it’s okay!
Half of the fun of gardening is the surprise of it all!
I have to admit that the asparagus kind of makes up for it. This will be dinner tonight.
I’ve been researching our options for replacing this wood and we’re still undecided about what to use. The denser woods like cedar and juniper are very expensive and the softer woods like pine won’t last too long. We don’t want to use pressure treated because the chemicals from the treatment process leach into the soil. I’m reading about composite wood and alternative methods of pressure treating too. I’ll keep you posted, in fact, this topic could be a post!
Heading inside; the tomato seedlings are cranking away! I’ve been moving these lights up an inch every few days. You’ll notice that I keep the lights just above the plants to keep them from from getting tall and thin. A compact plant will be strong and hearty when it’s planted in the garden.
I’m excited about planting these hollyhocks outside. Some of them will be right outside of the chicken coop door, and some will be near the archway.
The peppers are ready to spend some time outside hardening off.
This coleus is for the deck. I’m wondering if it’s going to grow quickly enough to be ready by the end of the month. I’ll save lots of money if I have the patience to let it grow without buying any.
This parsley is just for the fun of it. I’ll sow some parsley seeds right in the garden too, but it’s nice to have a little jump on it. We love our parsley.
I’m going to start cucumbers, basils and squash this week. I like to wait on those because they get too leggy if I plant them earlier. As I move some of the earlier seedlings out from under the lights I’ll make space for new things to come.
Seedlings are so much fun!!
If you haven’t started any yet, think about planting some cucumbers or zucchini. You might even be able to sneak a few pots of tomato seeds in. It’s okay if things are a week or two behind the “recommended” time frames for planting.
As I close I’d like to thank so many of you for reading my “I Was Stuck” post last week and for your many words of love and encouragement. I’m always amazed that people read my “all about me” posts more than the garden related ones. I need to think about ways to balance that, or put more of myself in the garden posts.
If you have any thoughts or comments, please comment in the comment section just below. I love the facebook conversations, but this community would GROW if the facebook comments were posted here, so don’t be afraid, just do it!
Happy Sunday, Happy May Day, Happy SPRING!
And I don’t mean by a rosebush!
This post is all about me. I’m apologizing right now, because I should probably be talking about other things but I’m kind of transparent by nature so I can’t move on and get back to work here until I share this with you.
Last August I left my job as Bass River, Inc’s adaptive gardening specialist because I had a supervisor who just didn’t get gardening or my agreement with the agency about what my tasks were and how I would use my time based on the agreement.
And, he didn’t get me. At all.
So, very very sadly and abruptly, I had to go.
Then a few weeks later my mom died.
In September I found myself grieving… so much…
It was mostly for my mom, who at 82 had lived a very good life, but her illness and death happened quickly and unexpectedly. Loosing one’s mother at any age is one of the hardest things that we go through in this life.
But I was also grieving the loss of my job. I had loved it so much. I loved the men and women whom I served. I loved the ways that they responded to gardening and gardens and the work that we were able to do together. I loved that every day there was a moment when someone enjoyed a flower that they remembered from their past, or had a blast planting some seeds when they didn’t think they would. I loved all of it.
I couldn’t go back. The bridge was burnt and I was feeling too fragile to look much further. A few job prospects came and went, but nothing really stuck.
I spent the fall and winter taking care of my family and trying to get my head on straight.
I kept folding laundry and cooking and organizing things and Komari cleaning out the closets and the kitchen. I planned this year’s garden and started seeds.
Then one day a few weeks ago it was time to buy flowers for the front porch.
As I walked into the garden center I saw a friend working there who I had made when I took the individuals from Bass River shopping for plants. She immediately asked where they were and I told her my story. As I stood at the register paying for my purchase she was calling a regional manager to let him know that I was right there, and might be interested in working for his perennial supply company.
So, here I am with a new job. I’m working part time as a rep for a company that supplies perennials and tropical plants to a large chain store.
For the first few days I wasn’t at all sure that I’d last, but I think I might. The work is so physically hard. The more I push myself to do it, the more sure I am that it’s just what I need. I can feel some of the grief lifting. I can breathe and think more clearly. New thoughts are beginning to occupy the places where the what if’s and if only’s took over for so long.
I’m working with plants, thinking about plants and learning about plants, just what I like to do.
When things settle in and I can post more regularly I’m going to have a long list of new topics to blog about. The customer’s questions that I overhear and that are asked of me occasionally will make some great blog posts. Things like “what is the difference between a pansy and a petunia?” and “can you recommend a small bush that I don’t have to take care of and will grow in the shade, with rocks around it so I don’t have to cut any grass?”
It’s going to be interesting, that’s for sure!
Thanks for indulging me and letting me share with you.
It’s time to plant and learn and feel good again. I truly believe that those three things go hand in hand.
Hey everyone! Happy Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day!
I’m a little behind schedule today so I’m just doing a quick post to stay in the groove.
I looked back at last year’s April GBBD post and saw crocus and snowdrops.
I’m happy to report that this April 15th we’re way past crocus and snowdrops!
We have pulmonaria or “Bride and Groom” as my mom called it..
Our forsythia are planted in a space out back, between a pine tree and the neighbor’s fence. I should put some out in the sun where I can enjoy it and it will grow better.
Grape hyacinth… remind me to plant some small daffodils in this area in the fall. Wouldn’t they be pretty?
and a new pink Anemone. I hope these take off.
Buds on the Juneberry (Serviceberry) tree
This tree has been on the brink of bloom for the last ten days! Let’s go Juneberry tree…
I have a pot of daffodils, tulips and a few hyacinths on the front porch. These bulbs have been through two snowstorms and several very cold nights.. they literally frosted over and bounced back twice.
If you have a chance, check out my instagram account for pics of the freezing and defrosting process . While you’re there, follow me and I’ll follow you back! I’m starting to really have fun with instagram. I’ve been posting some seed starting photos and connecting with lots of gardeners and great websites.
Just below the bulbs are a few cute little pots of pansies. These guys are also a bit weather worn, but they’re hanging in there!
Be sure to visit May Dreams Gardens to see the other GBBD posts. I had fun looking at them this morning. April is a month when all subtle changes in temperature create a wide array of bloom stages as you travel around to different time zones and climates!
Be well, be happy,
and remember on this third anniversary of the Boston Bombing that Boston is strong!
There’s lots of potential for the garden season to start much earlier than Memorial Day!
Everyone is used to planting vegetables in late May, but you can direct sow many seeds right now if you’d like to!
You only have a dollar or two to loose, and so much to gain! All it takes is a packet of seeds, some well nourished soil (add organic compost), sunlight and water.
Peas are another early favorite. They can be sown directly in an area where a fence or trellis is ready to support them as they grow.
Radishes will germinate now, and they grow so quickly. You could be eating home grown radishes in just three weeks if you plunk a short row of seeds into some well nourished soil!
As I looked at this photo from a few years ago I noticed the rocks… I’m always removing rocks.. but small rocks are okay, as long as you add lots of compost. It’s really all about the compost.
Kale and Swiss Chard are also very hardy. When we say that a plant is “hardy”, we usually mean that it will withstand cold well.
This is swiss chard from last summer. Some of it actually wintered over a little bit (photos of that are here ). I added more seed over the weekend to fluff it up and fill in the spaces between plants.
Spinach is another good early spring choice. It loves cool weather and will bolt as soon as it gets hot, so plant it now!
Here’s a quick list of spring vegetables that you can plant outside from seed right now:
Most of these will be ready by Memorial Day, or the 4th of July!
Our weather changes so quickly at this time of year, but don’t be afraid, give it a go!
Have you planted anything yet?
Leave me your questions, concerns, successes, anything that’s on your mind…
Happy Planting! Happy Spring!