Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday morning again. Yes, the weekly garden stroll is late again. This is apparently what happens when a whole bunch of deadlines bunch up on the first half of a week. How about we just skip past the part where I promise (again) to do better next week, and jump right to the photos?
Flowers are bursting open everywhere. The speedwell (above) raced to bloom before I could decide whether to keep it there, or move it to a new spot (I’m a chronic re-planter). Since the purple-blue flower spikes look so nice in front of the pink and white gaura, I’m leaving the plants where they are. For now.
The daylilies are blooming too:
These sunny-yellow daylilies grow in a massive clump near the base of the driveway. So, not technically in the Outlaw Garden. But, too pretty to ignore. And, honestly, I’m beginning to think of the whole front half of my lot as potential vegetable garden space. I even have plans to plant corn and tomatoes in a wildflower border I’m adding along the driveway. Because, really, why not?
Speaking of wildflowers, the Culver’s root (Veronicastrum virginicum) is just about to bloom:
There are also a few onions blooming in the garden. I didn’t pull all the bulbs last fall, and the few that remain are eager to attract pollinators and set seed. Not sure I’ll let them go that far (I can’t remember the variety I planted…), but I’m enjoying the pops of bright white in the meantime:
And, of course, no tour of the garden’s flowers would be complete without a mention of the artichokes:
I know. I’ve been a bit obsessed with the artichokes lately. I can’t seem to help it. The flowers are gorgeous. The plants are dramatic. And, I still don’t really believe that they are growing in my garden. Somebody pinch me.
Despite their beauty (and my self-admitted difficulties in harvesting pretty edibles), I am starting to eat the artichokes. Picked and steamed the first one a few days ago, and it was delicious. Also, a little bit stringy. A good lesson to pick these flowers earlier next year. Assuming I can resist their charm and good looks, that is…
The flowers aren’t the only thing adding color to the garden:
There’s also cedar apple rust on the shadbush. Bah! Not exactly how I want to be adding color to the garden. I shouldn’t be surprised. Shadbush belongs to the same family as apples. And, elderly cedar trees line two sides of my half-acre lot. The cedars are staying (the birds love them, and I’ve become fond of them too), but the cedar apple rust is a huge bummer. Especially since one of my newly-planted antique apples is also showing symptoms. Not happy about this.
I’ve read that cedar apple rust may damage a crop, but won’t totally destroy it. That seems like good news. Still, if I can avoid it, I’d rather not donate any of my apple (or shadbush / serviceberry) crop to this fungus. I’ve been looking for organic controls, but haven’t had much luck finding anything yet. Maybe you know of an organic trick that works? If so, please share! And, if I find or discover something that slows or prevents the spread of cedar apple rust, you can be sure I’ll share that here.
In the meantime, let’s move on to some colors that are making me happy. Like, blue. Robin’s egg blue:
A family of robins has clearly welcomed a new baby to their nest. In fact, all of the birds seem to be moving on to their second nests of the season. The house wrens and Carolina wrens both fledged chicks from their chosen nest boxes, and now both seem to be cruising for new nest sites (must remember to clean out those “used” nests). And — yay! — a pair of bluebirds have moved in to another birdhouse in the front yard. Five eggs so far.
I also heard a chickadee this morning. Could they be considering one of the front yard birdhouses? Oh, I hope so!
Finally, let’s end this post with two of my very favorite things:
Blueberries and a firefly! Two great signs of summer. And, both of them early this year. No surprise, since they are saying we had our warmest March-May EVER this year. Our previous record-setting spring was in 1977, when we averaged 60.7°F from March through April. We shattered that record with an average temperature of 62.2°F for the same period this year. It might not seem like much. Just a difference of 1.5°F. But, when we’re talking about averages over a three month period, that’s a big jump. So, yeah, no wonder the fireflies are out a little early this year!
How is your gardening growing? Any signs of an early summer?