This afternoon while I was waiting to pick up my daughter at school I had just a few minutes to walk through the garden at the Ropes Mansion on Essex Street. This is always a fun stop… it’s not a period garden, but more a colorful collection of plants of all kinds that are arranged for fun and pleasure. It’s a beautiful place to stop and rest in for a few minutes.
Happy Bloom Day! The fifteenth seems to come so quickly every month. I enjoy writing these bloom day posts because they help me to focus and appreciate my garden. I also enjoy them because I always take a wonderful trip around the world to see what’s blooming in everyone else’s garden! Grab a cup of coffee or tea and visit May Dreams Gardens to see what other gardeners have posted. It’s really a nice treat and you deserve it!
We’ve had so so so much rain here that I went out to the garden wondering if there would be anything at all to share today. I was happy to find that the usual June blooms are there, if not a bit weather worn and soggy.
Somehow the iris have made it through the rain…
This is a bit of a mystery rose. I didn’t plant it but it’s quite happy hiding among the iris and it seems to be getting more prolific every year. I don’t think it’s a weed, and it’s not too aggressive so I’m just kind of enjoying it. Here’s what happens to rhubarb blossoms when I host large family events that require almost all of my time and attention. Comfrey…White iris, still hanging on too. I honestly don’t know how. Sage… Salvia… Sweet Pea… Rose Campion… White Cottage Rose Heather… Dianthus (weather worn dianthus, actually)… and Rosa Ragosa, one of my favorites…
Just below is the link to a great article about a youth gardening program in Loveland, Colorado. It highlights the many benefits that gardening provides to students with special needs. The adults that I work with grow and change as they garden as well. As I settle in to my adaptive gardening specialist position I’m able to see it more every day. Take a minute or two and click on the link to read about the Loveland Youth Gardeners! I truly believe that gardening benefits all who are interested!
Wow! The past eight days have flown by! I’m sorry that I’ve been so completely absent. My middle daughter was inducted into the Junior National Honor Society last week, then twenty-four hours later our oldest son graduated from Salem High School. It’s been a whirlwind of events, celebrations, family and fun! I’m “off” today and trying to catch up around here. A lot happens in a week in my cyber world, not to mention on my desk and in my fridge… time to clean out, freshen up and get moving again! It’s been raining a LOT for the past week. There’s a little glimmer of sun today so I got out for a few minutes this morning and snapped a few very quick photos. Garden Bloggers Bloom Day is on Saturday (where did a month go??) so I’ll share most of the blooms that haven’t been destroyed by torrential rain then.
Here we go:
Potatoes, spilling out of their pot… I keep adding soil and hoping that we have a nice harvest from this bucket. I’m starting other potato pots a little at a time in the hope that we can enjoy them over time. I wonder if I could grow potatoes year round if they were in a cool spot? I’m thinking about that, especially for my workplace. The first little Adirondack Blue potato sprout… I hope to see lots of these in a few days! I planted and caged quite a few romas. Margaret Roach talked me into staking the rest of the tomatoes this year. Click on the link to read about that. I love Margaret, she is one of my very top gardening mentors… Someone is digging a hole, I don’t know who. I think a Have a Heart trap is in order here… Okay, one bloom… a very waterlogged white iris. I can’t help it. It’s beautiful, even in it’s frazzled state. Lots of lettuce… we need to keep eating it. I’ve had a tendency to forget lately!The bush beans sprouted. There’s just a few, I’ll probably start to add a few seeds where the lettuce is as we use it up. Hi girls. Their wet too, poor things…Buff orphington chickens are quite friendly and tame. This lady may be doing some visiting around town soon.
I need to add some twine to help the poor peas reach the arbor… I’ll be there as soon as I can! My littlest girl grew the lettuce and carrots that are coming up in front of the peas. She’s really proud of “her garden”…
So, as you can see I have lots of work to do today! Now that I’ve gotten back to my blog and caught up a little I can move on to the outside stuff. I may even get the laundry under control!
Thank you, thank you for stopping by, and reading and commenting! You are all wonderful!
Every one of my guerilla and therapeutic gardening friends must watch this video! Ron Finley says “gardening is my graffiti” and “gardening is the most therapeutic and defiant thing you can do.” His goal is to improve health and society in South Central LA one unused space at a time. I LOVE it!
We’re rolling right along out there! The impending heat today was a great incentive to get things deeply planted and watered yesterday. It finally feels like summer is here in Salem!
The potatoes are coming right along. I’ve been adding soil to these as they grow. This pot is full (I hope) of early red potatoes. I’m a little worried about that Japanese Maple. There are tiny buds but no leaves at all yet. It seems a little late?
These are newly planted (last week) Adirondack Blue potatoes.I’ve been working on pots and containers in preparation for our high school graduation visitors next weekend. Hopefully this will fill in in the next few days.
Tomatoes are in! We went for a large variety this year. I’ll have to do a separate post on that sometime soon.Peppers, cabbage, brussel sprouts and shallots. Please notice the complete lack of perfection here. I just don’t allow myself to get bogged down by that. I would never get anything done.Lettuce, cauliflower and bush beans planted at the end.One lonely zucchini plant can grow into the space currently used by the lettuce. I had such horrible squash bugs last year that I swore “no zucchini”. Of course there is a tiny bit of zucchini.The chicken coop window box is in! Sweet peas are creeping up beautifully. And we have iris!!This is a German iris. And of course, siberian.
Maybe there is just a little bit of perfection out there, but not because of me!
I heard you ask for help yesterday in Walmart and spoke with you a few minutes later and told you a little bit about my blog. Since then I’ve been thinking about how I can help people like you who are just starting out with their very first garden and I came up with a few simple ideas. These are my thoughts after talking with you for just a minute or two.
—You said that your garden will be next to your driveway and you want some things growing and some color. I didn’t say it, but I should have said that you would want to dig down 12-16 inches to loosen the soil really well. If you just scratch the surface it will be tough for the roots to grow and establish themselves.
—Then, see what kind of soil you have. It may be nice topsoil (black, brown and crumbly), or sandy (light colored and very fine) or clay like (sticks together in a clump when it’s a little wet). It may be very rocky (try to take out as many as you can), or not. Adding compost that you can buy in bags from garden centers will help improve most soil. If you have an extreme version of any of the above you may need to work at it a little bit more. Here’s a link that can help you with that.
—As you work on getting the soil ready watch the way sun shines on the space. How many hours of sun the garden gets is really important in choosing plants that will do well. It might be over 8 hours a day (full sun), 3-6 hours a day (part shade) or less than 3 (shade). Match the light requirement on the plant tag with the type of light you have. It’s really important to do this!
—Look for plants that will fit the light requirement and the type of garden that you have in mind. Read the labels again to get an idea of how tall the plants will be and when they’ll bloom. Some tags even tell you what to plant together which is really handy when your first starting out!
—Try to arrange the plants so that the tallest are in the back and shortest are in the front.
—Pull the weeds as you see them pop up. If you do this for a few minutes every day you’ll be able to keep up with them easier.
—Watch the weather and be sure to water if it doesn’t rain.
—Take off dead flowers and leaves so that new ones can grow.
—Leave me a message here if you have any questions. I’m happy to help if I can!
— Most importantly, enjoy it! Don’t worry too much if plants don’t make it, it happens to all of us! You can do it!!!
ps/ Other gardeners, feel free to chime in with your ideas and suggestions in the comments section.
Let’s help this lady have the best first garden ever!
WordPress sent me a message the other day to tell me that I’ve been blogging for a year. Seriously… one year? They must be kidding!
Lots of great things have happened since I started The Salem Garden and I didn’t really plan on any of them. You know that I turn everything into a list, so here’s what happened:
1. I found out that blogging is fun, interesting and maybe a little bit addictive.
2. I also learned that blogging takes a lot of time and energy.
3. However, the time commitment decreased as I kept blogging.
4. But, the time commitment then increased because I loved reading other blogs and learning about the craft.
5. I connected with friends, interesting people and gardeners from all over the world.
6. I also connected with friends, interesting people and gardeners from right here, in fun, new ways.
7. I learned a lot about gardening. This happens when you read gardening blogs, so keep reading!
8. I found my blogging voice.
9. I got a wonderful paid position as an adaptive gardening specialist (I had never even heard of an adaptive gardening specialist). My first job in seventeen years has given me the gift of vision about what I’d like to do professionally in the future.
10. My family did well with all of the above, almost all the time.
A year ago I had no idea or expectation about where this would go. I knew that I had something to say or do but I didn’t know what it was or that it would be life-changing. I had spent many years raising my young children and enjoying every minute so I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. Thank you so much for reading, following, encouraging and sharing your thoughts with me. You have all made the last year into an amazing journey!
I love sharing photos, so here are some of my favorites from the past year. Click on any image to view them as a slide show.
How could it be the fifteenth of the month already? When I woke up this morning and saw another blogger’s Bloom Day post I had to quickly look at my calendar and check the date. It just didn’t seem possible. A lot has happened here in New England in the last month. The garden continues to soothe and heal all of us.
My long awaited dogwood is still in bloom. I know that I just have another day or two with it so I’m enjoying every minute that I get. Soloman’s seal is unfurling. This is “almost a bloom.” Viola, lots of them, everywhere! Lily of the valleyCrab apple
My little girl’s favorite, the bleeding heart. She’s been able to identify this since she was three.
And there’s still plenty of pollen! I’m so allergic to it, but I’m hoping that in just a few more days or after another good rain (this afternoon), it will be better.
We have a busy weekend here. Today’s the dance recital, which means lots of work and lots of fun! This is our ninth or tenth year of dancing, actually I should say this is “my daughter’s ninth or tenth year of dancing” but it doesn’t really work that way. As a dance mom, it’s my project too, and now my youngest child has joined in so we spend more time at dance then ever. I believe that dance is a wonderful way for my girls to develop skills in many areas. They love to dance and we love to cheer them on.
When I let Winnie out this morning I was greeted by this view. It was rainy and overcast but all I could see were the flowers.
Of course I was drawn right out there and I had to keep looking. Tomorrow will be garden day for me but I’ve been so busy with rehearsals and running people places that I haven’t been down to the garden in a couple of days. I’m always surprised by the changes when I’m absent for a little while.
The rhubarb is in flower already. Shallots are peeking out. My daughter decorated the fence for her birthday party. I think the lights are staying here, I love them! This perennial border is starting to come together this year. We need some more rain to fill up the pond so that the kids can use the canoe, and I need to make that fence with the dogwood twigs.
There’s always bleeding hearts and spirea for Mother’s Day, along with the flowering cherry in the background.