What’s Happening in the Garden- May 31, 2015

Hello from finally rainy Salem, Massachusetts!

I haven’t posted in quite a while. There’s been so much going on here; sick children, graduating children, coming home from college children, going to college children, dancing and soccer and proms. Big life events can be great subjects for blogging but they don’t jive so well with gardening and garden blogging, especially the sickness. I’ve been pretty consumed with the needs of my family, as I should be.

So, the garden isn’t quite where it usually is at this point in May, but that’s okay.  I can always catch up on the bean planting or substitute things or buy bigger plants that are further along. It will all work out in the end, or not, and that’s okay too.

IMG_8924These are the rainclouds that I was trying to out plant and out photograph before they burst this afternoon. I just made it and now we’re under a flash flood warning. It’s been so dry that the flood warning is welcome.

IMG_8913I post a pic of this view every year. It’s raining hard and is expected to continue through Tuesday, so I’m not sure that the iris flowers will survive. I’m glad I took this photo when I did.

IMG_8917Things are getting underway out in the herb garden. That’s parsley in the foreground. The oregano came back strongly, along with some dianthus, thyme and chives. I just put that brownish lovage in the back and added the new rosemary plants. Rosemary doesn’t winter over here unless we have an extremely mild winter, which is rare.IMG_8920 Looking from the other direction the cilantro was started from seed. IMG_8923 The blueberry bushes are loaded with berries! I need to plant more blueberry bushes. IMG_8925The Solomon’s seal is about to bloom…IMG_8926…along with my favorite yellow iris,IMG_8930 and the German iris.IMG_8931 Here’s a first for us; horseradish in bloom! It emits an odor of horseradish all around it. I don’t really love horseradish, but I’m kind of enjoying this. I hope the flowers don’t take away from root formation.IMG_8933 I planted a little bit of broccoli… so cute!IMG_8936 And the lettuce is happy. This is thriving because Michael does a good job of watering it for me with the leftover chicken water.

Here’s an interesting fact about this lettuce; the mesclun mix on the right was fertilized with vermicompost a few weeks ago and the row on the left wasn’t. Vermicompost is the way to go! I have a nice little worm bin here under my desk and all I do is feed them fruit and veggie scraps and keep an eye on the moisture content of the box. I harvest the compost once in a while and the “tea” or liquid that the worms produce every few weeks. It’s easy once you get the hang of it. I should blog about my worms more. IMG_8937I started these onions from seed in the early spring and transplanted them a few weeks ago. I need to make sure they don’t dry out and keep fertilizing them. Maybe I’ll try some vermicompost.
IMG_8941 Looking back, there’s lots of open space. IMG_8943I still have basil, tomato and foxglove seedlings,IMG_8914along with peppers.IMG_8942I dug this big pot of dill out of the front yard yesterday because we reconfigured the landscaping out there. Dill doesn’t really transplant that well, it’s better grown from seed. These are small enough that they might settle in if their handled carefully.

If any of you local friends want some dill just let me know! It will be here for a few days until the rain stops.

How’s your garden growing? I miss you and your comments and your blogs! Leave me an update so I can stop by and check in!

Love, Michele

 

Christmas Herbs

It’s been so warm here in Salem that we have lots of fresh herbs for Christmas this year.

I consider them to be my own personal Christmas gift~IMG_7737There’s little bits of dill popping up out front… not quite enough to cook with but there may be just enough for a bowl of carrots in a day or two.
IMG_7735 I brushed my hand over lemon balm and was transported right back to July….

…in my mind, but it was very pleasant.IMG_7733a few more days like this and we could have blooming lavender again.IMG_7732 There’s fresh growth on the sage…IMG_7729 …along with the oregano.IMG_7727My rosemary plant that never quite made it inside this fall is full of beautiful fragrant foliage..IMG_7722…same with the thyme.
IMG_7719And I’m putting fresh parsley in everything..potatoes, chicken soup, you name it!

Merry Christmas to me!

Love, love, love,

Michele

What’s Happening in the Garden-June 9-And Then There Were Two

 

IMG_5971

So, there’s good news and bad news around here. I’ll start with the bad news first and get it over with.

It’s actually really bad, as in, “a coyote killed four of our baby chicks in a few minutes” kind of bad. Michael and I miscommunicated about the meaning of “the chickens are all set” last Sunday night. He left for a work trip right after dark and when he said that they were all set I thought that meant locked up for the night so I never checked them. At 5:00 Monday morning I heard lots of chicken noise so I ran down there to see what was up. I found my neighbor out behind the coop having just scared the coyote away a few seconds before I arrived. It was horrible. The coyote killed three of our chicks instantly and a fourth disappeared. Two survived, both wyandottes. I can’t help but think that it might say something about the hardiness of the breed. One walked out of the woods shortly after the attack and we found the other sheltering in place up the street behind the stop sign. Anyway, I’m now calling these two Silver and Gold because they truly are precious.

IMG_5890The good news in our pet population is that this little sweetie pie is staying. We’ve named her Tucker, and she is the cutest, friendliest bunny ever! Tucker really helped to ease our pain last week after the chicken disaster.

IMG_5973Other good news is that I finally planted out this herb garden this morning. I know it doesn’t look like much now but just you wait! There’s a lot of plant material just below the surface burrowing in and getting ready to grow. This was a very economical project as the only money that we spent was for compost and a few annuals that I had around and added to brighten things up.

IMG_5336Here’s the same space a few months ago.

IMG_5974The borders are coming in to bloom. They need to be weeded again.

IMG_5979The peas are starting to flower a little and there’s watermelon, cantaloupe and pumpkin seedlings in front of them.

IMG_5981We have some happy cucumber seedlings and some that need to be replaced. I think the cold weather got to them last week. It’s been unbelievably cold. I have new seedlings cooking in the basement that I’ll plant in those hills.

IMG_5999I also started fall crops inside over the past few days… broccoli, swiss chard and brussel sprouts. Just ten plants of each, that’s enough for us.

IMG_5983In spite of the cold, the tomatoes have settled in quite well. I think that their about to take off.

IMG_5984As has the zucchini. The kale loves the cold, along with the mesclun, and the peppers and onions don’t mind too much. It looks like it’s time to weed and pull out rocks again.

IMG_5987The window box still needs to be planted.

IMG_5990And the butterfly garden could use some attention.

IMG_5988It won’t look like this for long… just a few weeks and these beds will be full!

So we’ve had our ups and downs around here. Between the chicken loss and the crazy weather it’s been kind of sad. I’m in the habit of going out to the garden very early in the morning so that we have family time in the middle of the day. The kids enjoy the garden and they help a lot but we don’t want them growing up to resent the time we spend out there.

We’re always adjusting, trying new things, making it work…

And sometimes I can sleep on the beach!

How’s your garden growing? Let me know!

Love, Michele