Garden Report: June 3

This week we have been eating blueberries:


And cherries (some Black Tartarian, some Lambert):


It's funny. We get an organic veggie/fruit box every week from a local farm, and there have been cherries in the box that tasted really great until ours started coming in. Now they just taste like store cherries. So everybody, go out and plant yourself a cherry tree (actually, you'll need two for pollination). You deserve it.

Usually June is when we say goodbye to any semblance of spring, as the summer dry sets in. The tulips have gone to seed: I take my little trowel and bury seed all over the place in a hopeless attempt to get some free tulips. The Wahlenbergia (the blue bells in the background) is covered in blooms and bees. The ground is dry and hard. But it rained last night. I give up on trying to figure this year's weather out.

Tulip seeds (Lady Jane clusianas)

Anyway, more plants. This is a campanula that is finally behaving like everybody said campanulas would behave. "Oh, be careful about planting those; they will spread like mad." And of course I ended up with a series of polite campanula. This one is a little less so.

pinkish campanula

Similarly, everybody warned me about planting lobelia. So far, they have stayed right where I planted them, in a nice tight little bundle. It's not that I don't have any invasive plants (hello, mint, ferns, and Bermuda grass), but I find it amusing that the plants that are supposed to be beasts are doing nothing. And these warnings were coming from local gardeners, so this is not about climate or adaptability.


Speaking of invasives that aren't invasive here, out back, my little Psorlea pinnata, aka "Grape Jello Tree," has its first ever blooms.

Psorlea pinnata bloom

This tree, covered in blooms, smells like a piece of grape-flavoured candy. It's growing fast now, but they're actually not massive trees; the very mature ones I saw at Cal Poly's arboretum were maybe 15 feet tall. These are terribly invasive in Australia; they were brought in as backyard plants from South Africa and easily hopped the fence.

Psorlea pinnata

Another plant that is supposed to be a real bear is the buddleia. I've never actually met anybody for whom buddleia was a problem, but I see references to it all the time. Mine are thriving this year, and finally growing up to cover the ugly fence and the weird neighbors (see how part of their roof is different? They were putting an illegal addition on there last year and were busted).

West fence with buddleias

Some garden problem areas (oh, lord, it's all problem areas right now, but I won't get into that) are this area by the side fence. My little collection of penstemons is doing nicely, and the Salvia, but I want to get rid of the grass and can't decide what else to put there.

Driveway garden in flux

And our quince tree, usually the super-healthy specimen in the garden, seems to have fireblight or something of the sort. Which means a heavy prune this year, but it's not as if we can figure out what to do with all those quince, anyway.

Quince with possible fireblight

Apart from that, we continue to pick away at the hallway work, and maybe one of these days we'll actually finish something enough to photograph.

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posted by ayse on 06/03/09


Ha, I've heard the same thing about buddleia, including my husband's aunt who claims they are now classified as noxious weeds in Seattle and you can't plant them any more. While they do get big and busy, I've never seen them take over and muscle anything else aside. Not like the zombie-will-not-die-blackberries.

I love the blooms on the grape jello tree, they look like pea blooms or those bright yellow scotch heather blooms. I wonder if they're related.

Yes, the psorlea pinnata is in the pea family. I have kind of a weakness for shrubs in that family.

I wish I could get your blog to show up in my google reader but it won't for some reason.

I planted some lobelia but I think mine looks different. Maybe it's a different variety.

Not sure why it's not working for you in Google Reader. I have it in my own set of blogs on Google and have no issues with it, so it's not an issue on this end.

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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