What’s Happening In the Garden- July 28

We’ve had pretty unsettled weather here this week. Lots of thunderstorm warnings and showers. We did have drought early in the spring but from my perspective our summer has been pretty typical.  Plenty of sunny days and rain at reasonable intervals. I think that our water table may still be down a bit from the spring and a slightly lower rainfall amount overall. I’m very worried for gardeners and farmers across the US who are experiencing their most severe drought in many years. If you missed it yesterday be sure to check out the post that I re-blogged from A Healthy Life for Me about how hot weather affects the garden.  While your there be sure to check out the recipes too!

Here in the Salem Garden, things are coming right along. The Black-eyed Susan and Echinacea are in full bloom. I remember the neighbor who gave me my first clump of Black-Eyed Susan saying that they are “like sunshine”.  They really are!

This single  Sunflower popped up on the edge of the yard this week. I had no idea it was there. We didn’t plant it on purpose it just reseeded from somewhere. What a nice surprise!

Here’s our first Zinnia bloom! I should have plenty for cutting in a few days.

The pole beans found the fence and trellis. I’m wondering if they need a more pole-like structure to climb on.  

This large plant is Horseradish. This is its second year and it has come into its own. I need to weed around it and add some compost.

It’s time to make some pesto! I’ll try to freeze some this week. I did clip back those flower buds after I took this photo. Be sure to clip the flower buds off of the Basil daily. It makes a big difference!

We have red tomatoes! Yay! A little wilt too. These Cherry tomato plants are across the garden from the Roma. I find Roma tomatoes to be a very disease resistant variety, but I’ll be sure to pick from the Cherry plants last and wash my hands well before I touch the Roma again. I hope that helps to prevent it from spreading, at least for a while.
The first gladioli is blooming! Hopefully we’ll see lots of these in the next week or so.

Time to get outside! There’s lots to do!

What’s growing in your garden?  Leave a comment and let me know!

Enjoy Everything!!

Michele

A Great Stop in DC—The US Botanic Garden, Children’s Garden

We were in Washington DC a few weeks ago and I treated myself to a walk in the US Botanic Garden.  I would have taken my  family with me for my walk but it was literally 108 degrees that day. They stayed in the cool air conditioned Smithsonian while I enjoyed the garden. Needless to say I had the whole thing to myself and it was glorious! I spent about 45 minutes relaxing and taking in every nook and cranny. One of the highlights was the Children’s Garden. It’s a beautiful child friendly oasis in the middle of all of the DC action.

The Children’s Garden is located just outside of the huge conservatory.

The plants are so varied.  The  shapes, colors, sizes and textures are really engaging.

The posted rules are simple and child friendly.

I saw pots of plants waiting for kids to put into the ground themselves.

Unfortunately I missed the photo, but I loved the concept!

There’s a fountain (pictured on the left) that children can play in and use to water plants. There’s a wonderful green-roofed playhouse!Along with places to hide and run…and to pretend and just “be”…It was easy to get lost in the whimsy and fun.

I hope that next time my children are in the photos too!

They would have enjoyed this… it’s a great place for families to learn, relax and spend time together while enjoying Washington DC.

I could have stayed for hours!

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What’s Happening In the Garden– July 20th

It’s time for the Rose of Sharon to bloom!

These are  everywhere right now.

Mine are extra special to me because my sister sent them in an envelope a few years ago when they were about nine inches tall.

We had two Rose of Sharon trees growing in this little spot. We moved one last fall (more on that in a minute)..

This one needs to be moved out away from the Hemlock tree, centered to the left, and the area cleaned up.  Our neighbors took a very large arborvitae tree out of that corner recently.

Sounds like a good fall project!

Just below is a photo of the Rose of Sharon that we moved. It’s kind of hidden behind the swing set and fell off of my radar screen in the hot, dry weather.

Now it’s a bit yellowed and worn. This is a good reminder to water often for at least a year or two after transplanting a tree or shrub!

These are quite hardy so I’m sure it can be saved but I need to get on it and stay the course.

Over in the garden, the carrots are coming right along.

See the little cleome plants in there that are still re-seeding from a few years ago?

Michael put one pumpkin seed in the ground “just because” and here it is!

I saw bees pollinating it recently. I’m hoping that it’s not too late for pumpkins to grow on that vine. I’ll keep you posted…

The snapdragon that I planted in front of the chicken coop poofed up!

The asparagus is now a beautiful fern. We just couldn’t eat any more asparagus and there are  other veggies to enjoy.

The red day lily is blooming. I love this color!

The plant in the center is a pretty chrysanthemum. We’ll see it blooming in a few weeks.

And the butterfly garden is thriving. It’s always a little wild and in need of some thinning but the butterflies seem to love it!

What’s blooming in your garden this week?

Share in the comments section… I love to hear about how things are going for all of you!

Enjoy Everything!

Love,  Michele

Grandma’s Garden in Delaware

We were in Delaware a few weeks ago, visiting my mother-in-law.

There’s so much to do down there, beaches, shopping, great places to eat… one of my favorite things about our trip is always her beautiful garden!

The garden is breezy and fun, it’s always changing!

This year the larkspur was wonderful. We caught it after its peak but it was still beautiful!

There’s also dill and echinacea  and other surprises…

Birdhouses…

and ornaments…

This is how rosemary grows in Delaware.

Remember my little rosemary plant from the other day? I was so proud of wintering over a one foot tall plant.

Maybe the little angel is helping.

Her dill has always reseeded and flourished, it took me forever to just let mine go.

I used to look at this dill and wonder how it happened.

Herbs grow on the deck too.

This guy keeps an eye on everything.

Here’s our view during morning coffee or after time at the beach.

It’s always hard to leave, but we’ll be back to enjoy it again soon!

What’s Happening in the Garden — July 14th

July is kind of a funny month in the garden. It’s in-between in terms of blooming and beauty but it’s so hard at work!

I love watching things grow and change at this time of year.

Our potatoes are flowering! I didn’t know that potato flowers were this pretty.

I have to apologize for the less than clear shot, my camera focus has a mind of its own and this is what it was doing for potatoes this morning.

The Black-eyed Susan are ready to pop!

This is Scarlet Runner Bean climbing on the trellis. It’s ornamental and so pretty.

If you live locally give me a shout if you’d like some seeds for next year.

We have peppers!  There are lots of buds… I hope they make it! I’d better reign that cucumber vine in if I want that to happen.

The dill is ready for pickles. 

Here come some Kentucky Pole beans that I planted as the  peas were winding down.

I hope they make the little leap over to the fence/trellis and start climbing.

This Rosemary plant wintered over. We covered it with a bucket on the coldest days. I usually pot Rosemary up in November and bring it in. It makes it until the middle of January, then I forget to water it just once and it dies immediately.  I had the great pleasure of hearing Adelma Simms speak about herb gardening at Caprilands many years ago. I still remember her saying “a dry rosemary is a dead rosemary”.  I find that to be true almost every winter.

In the coop, the younger side of the chicken flock is still favoring the corner.

They do come forward to eat and drink and their all interacting a little bit more every day. It just takes time.

The tomatoes look happy!

Balloon flower is blooming… such a fun plant!

Kids really enjoy it.

The Liatris bulbs that I planted in June popped up.

They went in kind of late but I think we’ll see some blooms.

As I looked through these photos I saw one common denominator… can you guess what it was? Here’s a hint, there’s some weeding to do  🙂

Thanks for stopping in! Have a great weekend!

Michele

What’s Up With This Hydrangea?

A few days ago my friend Blaire sent me the photo below with this question:

I am attaching a picture of my largest hydrangea bush. I love it, but for 2 or 3 years it has had pink AND blue flowers- fine with me- except i don’t know why.  I have seen others like this, so the soil is acidic and base?  One year it was pink and turned blue; acid rain?  Originally it was a pink plant.  I have a white bush next to it that stays white; a newer different species pink that has stayed pink and a container “blush” pink that has stayed that way.  Any ideas why the one bush does that?

So I’ve been looking for an answer to Blaire’s question and I really can’t find one. There’s plenty of information on the basic concept that acidic soil produces blue flowers while alkaline soil produces pink. There’s also lots of information about how to change flower color and what species of plants favor each color. I’m curious now too about what would cause a consistant multi-colored bloom.

What do you think? Help us solve the mystery!

What’s up with Blaire’s hydrangea?

Sweet Peas, Veggies and Herbs!

First of all, thank you, thank you for all of your wonderful suggestions yesterday about what to do with the Green Monster! I’m newly energized and I’m  working hard on pulling that area together. I was feeling quite overwhelmed before I asked for your help.  Hopefully I’ll be able to share a photo of our progress soon. It’s such a shady, private spot. I love to sit there for a minute first thing in the morning or when we take a break during the day. It’s going to be a little oasis in our oasis.

Here’s an update on how things are going out in the garden this week:

The sweet peas are almost ready!

Here’s a beautiful post about sweet peas that  AmySue at A Healthy Life for Me wrote last week

http://ahealthylifeforme.com/2012/06/05/peas-peas-everywhere/

Her recipes and photos are wonderful!

The basil and tomatoes are coming along (notice that the bunny food/poop grass is still trying to surface). I decided to try  salt marsh hay as mulch this year to retain moisture and keep weeds and wilt away. We’ll see how it goes. I’d better get cages around those tomato plants soon.

I planted  few red cabbage plants in this  extra space and we’re enjoying the lettuce. Better get it while we can because lettuce is happiest in cool weather, once it gets hot it will bolt and be gone! The zucchini has settled in nicely and I planted a treat just beyond the lettuce… zinnias to cut and enjoy in August

Lemon balm, thyme and lavender…

And here’s our first purple coneflower blossom of the season! There will be many more to come..

It’s very rainy here  but it’s supposed to clear up over the next few days. Perfect weather for growing everything!

Thanks for stopping!

Enjoy Everything today!

Michele

The Green Monster

No, It’s not Fenway Park… It’s my house. I have my very own Green Monster here in Salem  It’s what  Michael is calling this wall outside our back door that we painted a few weeks ago…

What should we hang on it or decorate with? Any thoughts or ideas are welcome! Yes I did go kind of bright with the paint color but we wanted it to be cheery and welcoming.. it’s always been a very dark space full of clutter, but it has such a nice view of the yard.  We wanted to brighten it up a little and make a nice place to sit for a few minutes.

I know that there are a few wonderful designers out there who might be reading…. share your thoughts please!  Comment away!