Garden Report: April 7

It rained much of the day today, and only in the late afternoon did the sun come out. We're in full-on spring here, so now everybody in places where it rains in the summer will be telling me how much they envy our mild climate. An envy they would not feel if they had to deal with no rain between May and November, and a drought to boot.

This week we got our first buds ripening on the apples (this is Pink Surprise).

Apple buds

And the roses are covered in buds as well, which means this is going to be a bit of an early year for the roses.

Rose buds

The cherries are now covered in blooms, and this year I swear I will remember to net them so we get more than just a few pieces of bird-pecked fruit.

Cherry blossoms

Lots of actual food growing along nicely, too. Here are some wee little carrots growing in the bed by the metal shed. Some of them got eaten by certain chickens (names left unsaid to protect the guilty), but we will still get a few. We get carrots in our weekly CSA box, so I'm not terribly concerned about getting a decent harvest.

Baby carrots in the green house bed

I am super excited about the fava beans, though. Not only do I like eating fava beans (even if they are a pain in the butt to deal with), but I wanted some more seeds to do more green mulch next year, and it looks like I will get plenty.

Infant fava beans

And even though the friend who gave us the two raspberry babies suggested they might not fruit for a while, we're getting new canes from both plants. I'm going to try a super-controlling method of keeping track of old and new canes, which I will detail later. Suffice it to say that we never did anything like that with our raspberries when I was a kid.

New raspberry canes

Out front, this sweet pea volunteered itself on the trellis by the front steps. I had already planted another sweet pea there, so this year we have two plants on the trellis. Not a problem for me.

Volunteer sweet pea

And here are my tulips from the Netherlands. One thing you might note is that none of them seem to be yellow, but I planted two bags of yellow tulips. Yes, the "don't buy bulbs at the flower market" lesson has been reinforced once again.

Tulip container

It's not long until they're all done. I love tulips, but they are such short-lived flowers. Maybe that's what I love about them so much. (Tulips out of season appeal not at all.)

Tulip container

Another awesome but totally seasonal flower is the Douglas iris. It's so exotic that it's easy to forget it's actually a native here.

Douglas iris

For good measure, another look at the insane pink ranunculus. As I said in a comment last week, they are perennials here, though they are unreliable. This patch seems to do particularly well, but several other patches come back spindly, or don't come back at all. When they do come back you kind of have to stay on top of dividing them regularly, because they will get crowded.

Ranunculus

In the bottom of the catchment basin, I'm trying out this low groundcovery Veronica (Veronica porphyriana). It likes well-drained soil (I planted it in sand that drains about as fast as it's possible to drain), lots of sun (it's also in full sun), and butterflies love it (I have lots of butterflies, and bees too). So far it seems happy.

Veronica porphyriana

This combination of Layia platyglossa 'Tidy Tips' and Nemophila menziesii 'Baby Blue Eyes' was suggested by Annie's Annuals, and it works pretty nicely. This location is next to the little bog garden, so I wanted something that would fill in for the spring and let me make up my mind about what to do there later.

Layia platyglossa and Nemophilia menziesii

And lastly, a funny little flower that I don't remember planting. I mean, I remember planting something there, but not what this is or why I decided to put it there. Looks nice, though.

I don't remember what this was


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posted by ayse on 04/07/09

2 Comments

Do raspberry canes not look dead-ish after they have finished fruiting? We've got a couple tayberry plants (a raspberry-blackberry cross), and it's easy to tell the canes to cut out, since they look like they're on the way out and dying. But it's kind of a wack plant, so I don't know if that's standard.

Your garden is beautiful! (and I know what you mean about the May->November... same thing here in Portland except shorter, only July->September. Also anyone who exclaims over my Green! Grass! In January! I want to hit over the head, because they don't realize that also means having to cut the damn grass in January. But I hate grass.)

Depends on the variety, Alice. Some fruit on second-year wood, some on first-year wood, some on both. I'm not really sure about ours, but I figure now is the time to start keeping track of the canes, before they turn into an impenetrable bramble (the method we used when I was a kid).

Not only do we have to cut the grass in January, but we have to weed all year long. Nobody seems to understand how this can be a disadvantage. It's 40F and completely dark out, and I have to be out in the garden weeding with a flashlight (because the daylight happens during working hours) or it will be overtaken.

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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