Garden Report: June 1

Times are good the the chickens, because it's been weeks since I had the time to do any weeding, and in that time the weeds have grown large and luxurious. I'd hoped to avoid using any chemical weed killer again this year, but the Bermuda grass is totally out of control, and I will have to if I want anything other than grass. But this weekend I went out with my red wagon and pulled load after load of weeds, then cleared a bunch of magnolia leaves from the front beds (the street trees are magnolia and shed like mad). So it was all good times in the chicken yard.

Chickens in the compost

While I was doing that, Noel re-installed this chicken waterer, which I had installed before we went off to New England, only to find it leaked like a sieve. So now it does not leak and when I have a chance to get to the hardware store, I will install a dripper to fill it off the irrigation system, and that's another thing we don't have to have at the top of our minds. I'm a big fan of automation.

Chicken waterer

But enough about hardware! Let's talk plants. It's been a rough two weeks around here: between going away for a long weekend and working long hours. I've hardly seen my garden at all, and I was starting to have withdrawal symptoms. A weekend out in the dirt has made everything all better.

I give you: the Clematis purpurea plena elegans, wrapped around Salvia clevelandii 'Pozo Blue' such that pruning the salvia back so we could get the gate closed was a delicate operation executed over several days. This is the first bloom of the clematis, and I am quite pleased because it is different enough from the usual purple clematis while not trying to pretend to be another flower.

Clematis in the Salvia clevelandii

Overgrowth is, as mentioned, the theme of the week. Look at the Fern Walk, which just sort of exploded. I made a brief foray to remove some of the larger weeds, but didn't have the time to get things in order there. But the plants are liking the water. I haven't even got the misters working and things are out of control in there.

Fern Walk, overgrown

This is the sort of thing I did a lot of this weekend: pulling out Bermuda grass, clearing piles of dead leaves or branches out of beds, stacking things up to get carted to the compost.

Weeding

And what is not weeds is also generally doing well. The daylilies started blooming and have basically gotten wilder each day. Those are Allium unifolium in there with them, to add colour to this bed before the daylilies come in. They're on their way out, setting little bulbils and dying back. The chickens ate a few and were pretty happy about them.

Daylilies and allium

And the nigella have hit their peak. I threw out some seeds for a multicoloured nigella last year and this year actually got a reasonable mix of them, like this white variety.

White nigella

And this is sown from the Nigella hispanica I planted last year.

Nigella hispanica

And the lilies. Let me tell you about my six-foot lilies. I'm not sure how or why that happened, but the lilies have grown massively tall this year and are just now setting out buds. I'd planned to move them over the winter and never got to it, so they have to stay where they are for now, unreasonably tall as they are.

Lilies

As if I didn't have enough plants, yesterday we went up to Sebastopol to see some friends, stopping by Annie's Annuals on the way up. This is a smattering of the plants our friends gave us on top of a flat of plants from Annie's, so I had a lot of planting to do today as well as the weeding (actually, planting is one of those things that motivates me to get going on neglected weeding). That's two varieties of raspberry (Heritage and Fall Gold, red and yellow respectively), a chard, pickling cukes, some squashes, okra, and a Pineapple tomato (which isn't in the shot; I'd planted it already).

Plants from K&J

The vegetable planting is going well this year: I have several tomatoes (not as many as last year but still more than we really need), basil, peppers, and peas already going. I rotated the tomatoes to the end of the bed where nothing has been planted, and put peas where the tomatoes were last year (although a volunteer tomato showed up in that bed, anyway). And the basil is interplanted with the tomatoes, which is supposed to be good for both of them but may just be superstition.

I'm getting peas off the vines already, and they have barely made it into the kitchen before being eaten raw. If I ever want cooked peas from my own vines I need to plant a lot more of them. Maybe next year when I'll have a long row of area to plant with something other than tomatoes.

Tomato bed

And a question: at the restaurant we ate at the other night up North, they had this amazing vine or floppy shrub. It's pretty, but the real feature is an intoxicating scent, much like gardenias. Anybody have any idea what it is?

Mystery vine

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posted by ayse on 06/01/08

5 Comments

It looks like Mock Orange to me. Fantastic smelling stuff.

It's a mock orange, all right, but which variety? Most of them have four petals, and this has eight.

I have been looking for a single flowered mock orange ever since I moved and had to leave mine behind, but the stores and catalogs only seem to carry doubles. There seem to be many, many varieties of mock orange.

Karen, you and I should swap nurseries, because the ones I've seen lately are all singles, and not very scented as this particular double (although the owner of the nursery down the street tells me that's because they produce more scent at dusk).

Well, it's not as if I have any urgent need to have this plant RIGHT NOW.

Ayse, I was looking on the web, actually. The nurseries where I've moved do not have very much of anything.

I am not sure how much to believe websites or catalogs about scent. These are the people who label roses "fragrant," when they mean "a light citrus scent." Bah, humbug :-)

Note: We're getting pummeled with spam comments, so I've turned off the ability to use any HTML or include any links for the time being. Email with any issues.

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