I got to mark a task off the Master List today! I finally finished the edging around the sauna garden, and it looks good. Now all I have to do is keep after the “volunteer” crab grass sprouts in that area. I planted the area with annuals for the butterflies, specifically cosmos, zinnias and marigolds. They are still pretty small, but doing very well. In this picture, which is designed mainly to show you the completed rock edging, you can just barely see them as a tinge of green in the mulch.
The larger plants in this garden are Autumn joy sedums and pink yarrow that I had ”heeled in” in the vegetable garden for about two years.
True gardeners will understand why “heeled in” is in quotation marks, as heeling in a plant is supposed to be a transitory stop-gap measure to keep seedlings healthy until your garden is ready to receive them. After a couple of weeks, it is no longer strictly “heeling in,” being more like “planted”.
Anyway, while I was out there taking pictures, I walked over to check the pond, which is more like a bog than a pond now. I guess I am going to have to break down and get in there and beat back the plants growing in there. The salamander newts are thriving though, so I have been reluctant to disturb their habitat.
Imagine my surprise when I noticed a volunteer plant that I have been watching for several years is now covered with flowers! It never did that before! It is really quite a pretty thing, and when I came in and consulted my Audubon Field Guide to North American Wildflowers Eastern , I discovered that it is Moneywort, Lysimachia nummularia, an introduced species. At least it is not categorized as an invasive exotic. I like it, and it sure graces the reed bed nicely.
The vegetable garden is looking good and producing a few peas and more lettuce than we can eat. We have had so much rain we have not made any further progress on placing the rock in the sand beds, but the paths still look great. Following is a series of pictures I took out there this afternoon after the afternoon thunderstorm. (We got 3/4 of an inch [1.9 cm] in about half an hour. No tornado in that supercell, thank heavens.)
The first picture is taken from the gate, and right in front of you is the cilantro patch busily going to seed. Beyond that are the peppers and behind them the onions. The row cover on the left is protecting the fledgling eggplants from flea beetles. Once the eggplants start blooming and are big enough to survive damage from them, I will take the row cover off to give the pollinators access.
If I walk to the center path and turn around, looking back towards the gate, I see the following. This is the carrot patch with the peas behind them. I have swiss chard planted between the two rows of peas. When the peas are ready to come out the chard will be big enough to see. The next raised bed contains the cilantro (busily going to seed at the left edge of the photo), the lettuce patch, and the broccoli (still under its row cover). The tiny flecks of green you see between the cilantro and the lettuce are the cucumber seedlings, which are just barely up. The last bed you can see has the garlic patch in it.
If you walk along the center path towards the back and look at that bed straight on, you will see my pole beans are up. Behind them is the garlic. It has started making bulbs and will be ready to harvest in a few weeks.
Turn around from this view, and you get a good look at the tomatoes, with the eggplant cover just to the left. They are blooming now. I can almost taste those luscious fruits, except that my palate has been inundated with fresh strawberries and almost can’t visualize ripe tomato. So far we have frozen a gallon and a half of strawberries while eating all we want each evening. We had them with fresh cream tonight. Mmmm. Oh right, the tomato patch. Behind it is the asparagus patch.
Things out in front are absolutely lush. This has its bad points, since the primrose that I am trying to eradicate is one of the things that is being lush. It is doing this in a much smaller way, however, and I believe I will prevail in getting it out of there. Meanwhile, the clematis is showing off.
The planter that makes the edge of my front porch is delightful right now. The penstemon is blooming, the lavender is nearly fully open, and the yarrow is just starting to show color (that would be the splash of orange to the left).
Down in the allium patch a lily that I planted two years ago is finally blooming. It would have bloomed last year but the big Easter frost nipped it back to its roots. Thank heavens it was not killed, or I wouldn’t be able to enjoy this:
I have been working steadily in the stroll garden too. I have weeded the flagstone paths, gotten some of the plants I want to grow in between them set in there. There is still quite a bit of thyme and some Irish moss left to put in there, in addition to the Creeping Jenny I am transplanting from the front garden. I got the sedums that Jocelyn gave me into the ground today, approximately one half hour before the rain came and watered them in for me. It occurs to me that I badly need to make a map that notates what plant is where. When I was weeding today I noticed that the blue jays have been stealing plant markers again.
And now that the sauna garden is complete, I can start working on forming the rain garden section.
I need to update that map I referred you to; I have started making decisions about what goes where. The section just north of the rain garden next to the elm tree will have roses in it. The end of the big horseshoe shaped bed will be where the crepe myrtles live. The long path that winds along the fence will be referred to as “Memory Lane.” I have many Pass-along plants from various friends in the area already, and several that I intend to move there. It occurred to me that it would be a really cool idea to make markers to remind myself of who gave me what plant.
So, I have been collecting proper flat rocks while I am out on the river. Now I am trying out paint to see what might stand up to the weather. This is a nice little project that is occupying my desk at present.
At last, another use for some of those rocks I have felt compelled to collect. I have been using them to fill in the very dry area next to the house in the North foundation planting. They make a nice border there.
Well, another day, another item crossed off the list!