Monday, May 14, 2012

Another month of garden madness

 Peony Festiva Maxima with Siberian Iris Gay Butterflies 
This past month- yes it's been an entire month since my last post- has been a month full of gardening. I know that comes as no surprise to you my faithful readers.  The roses and peonies have been the highlight of our garden over these past weeks.  First this vigorous apricot climber, named Crepuscule- horrible sounding- though it means twilight in French, was in it's glory for about 2 weeks.  It stretches across 30 feet of the fence, 15 feet in both directions from its base.  The only thing that would make it more glorious would be if it were more fragrant, but I'm not complaining.
 This rose starts out pink and mellows to apricot

As the crepuscule rose (reminds me of corpuscle!) was fading, the pale pink New Dawn rose on the west side of the house came into its prime, with the jackmanii clematis blooming in unison, an idea I got from the Wayside gardens catalog.  This combo is a treat and it drapes in front of the kitchen window making dish washing much more pleasant.
Another climber that we got from Niche Gardens is the Lonicera (honeysuckle) Goldflame.  It's mop top of multicolored fragrant blooms crowned the top of the entrance gate for many weeks and is just now shedding onto the walkway below.
In the vegetable garden we were blessed with weeks of asparagus and now we move into the full flush of spring goodness with peas, beets, carrots, lettuce, spinach, chois, kale and onions threatening to produce more than we can possibly consume.  This is one of the thickest and tallest stands of peas we have ever grown.  When picking them yesterday they were so tall and so many that my arms actually started to get tired!  And wow are they sweet.
In the past two weeks I've also been working at getting the summer garden planted, tomatoes are in and staked, 2 dozen plants this year.  The slicers are: Bolseno, Cherokee Purple, Big Beef, Celebrity, Mrs. Benson and Georgia Streak.  Two kinds of plum tomatoes; Red Agate and Marianna and two cherries, Sungold and Sugar Cherry.  We are in a never ending search for a red cherry tomato that we like, sweet and not too tough a skin and every year we try a new variety, every year we are a little disappointed.  I think its hard to beat the sweetness of the Sungold.  If you know of a great red cherry- leave me a comment about it.

I also planted cucumbers, squash, beans, basil and sweet potatoes.  Still need to set out the peppers and eggplants and then we will be pretty well set for summer.  I just love having a garden that I can walk out into and ponder dinner or run to for a green onion, bunch of cilantro or handful of spinach for the morning omelet or dinner tacos.  It's work to keep it all going and there are days when I question our sanity in growing such a big garden, but most of the time, I'm grateful to be able to have this spot of earth where I can enjoy the green of plants, the blue of the sky and feel the sun that nourishes my body and the plants that feed us.

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