Six on Saturday: April 21

Viola rows 4-20-18  A welcome day of warmth yesterday resulted in lots of changes and some accomplishments.  The major goal was getting the 370 violas planted along the edges of the potager’s central paths.  It may not look impressive to you, but seeing those ribbons of green is a delight for me.  Along with the bands of garlic, this season’s design is beginning to take shape.  There is also a trickle-down effect.  Getting all those plants in the ground freed up space.  All the first-round plants were moved out of the greenhouse onto the outdoor benching so that flats from the basement were moved into the greenhouse.  In addition, finally getting numerous plants in the ground freed up pots, so no more had to be purchased.  A quick rinse in bleach water and they were ready to fill again.  Consequently, hundreds of babies were moved from seedling flats into pots.  This also allowed a new round of seeding!  And, the green chairs have been moved out of the Lady Cottage for the season which gave me a lovely place to rest between tasks.  That included setting up 4 more sections of pea fence in anticipation of more plantings and more potatoes planted in pots increasing the total to 10 so far.  Progress!  Black currants in bags compressed  Secondly, recently I ventured to northern Indiana to visit Indiana Berry Farm.  It’s an impressive place with blueberry fields and broad rows of strawberries.  They propagate and sell an amazing list of berry plants.  I picked up four black currant bushes, something I’ve been wanting for years after falling in love with black currant tea in England.  Until recently black currants were not allowed because of their part in the cycle of the dreaded white pine rust, however now there are resistant varieties.   The two I selected were “Consort,” developed by Agricultural Canada which is immune to white pine rust.  It’s self-fertile and ripens mid-season, whenever that is!  “Blackdown” is an English variety reported to be very disease resistant with heavy crops of large berries that are even tasty fresh.  I’ve never tried black currants fresh, only in jellies, syrups, and dried in teas so this will be interesting.  Three:  The other “off-farm” venture recently was being a vendor at the Herb Society of Central Indiana’s spring symposium.  Here is the pile of inventory, just unloaded off the truck. Booth pile  And only 3 1/2 hours later, it looked like this:  Booth HSCI  If you look carefully, you can see copies of my books and the hand-painted umbrellas.  Far left there is a basket of shallots.  I’m really getting too old for all this truck loading and unloading though, so my “show” days are coming to an end soon.  Daffodils drooping compressed  Four is indicative of our spring so far, daffodils that are horizontal as a result of too many heavy snows and battering winds.  However, they still make a lovely bouquet.  I picked these for dinner guests this evening. Daffy bouquet  Finally having enough daffodils to pick is a happy number Five!  Lastly, one of the plants I truly love are these very miniature true irises that my friend Margaret gave me years and years ago.  They are only about 3″ tall, and 2 of those inches are the bloom!  They love the very dry conditions right along the sidewalk of the Deck Garden, and that’s a good place because since they are so small, they could be easily missed, which would be very sad.  I think they are perfect for fairy gardens as well.  Mini iris compressed  So that’s my “Six on Saturday.” Please visit The Propagator for many more contributions from around the globe.

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About carolee

A former professional herb and lavender grower, now just growing for joy in my new potager. When I'm not in the garden, I'm in the kitchen, writing, or traveling to great gardens.
This entry was posted in Six on Saturday, small fruits, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Six on Saturday: April 21

  1. Enjoyed reading your post, sounds like you’ve been really busy and achieved lots in your beautiful garden.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Margy says:

    You have so much more to do than I do in my small beds and containers, yet you are way ahead. It is not raining (after a night of heavy downpours) but the clearing wind makes it cold so I’m using that as an excuse to wait for the afternoon to go out to work. I want to spray paint one of my old faded half 55-gallon pots. Have to do that first and wind is not good for that. Once painted I can continue planting my potatoes. I’ve lost my cliffside potato patch where I created soil from 17 years of composting my garden and kitchen waste. I am sad but the government has notified all 250 lake dwellers that we have to remove all structures and activities from the shore. – Margy

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  3. bcparkison says:

    And a lovely six it is . Things are coming along pretty good.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. 69owen says:

    Looking good! I love black currants and grow them as hedging, I’ve never heard of white pine rust but we don’t have many 5 needled pines around here. Have you heard of jostaberries? I am growing them this year. A cross between a gooseberry and black currant with large blackcurrant like fruit! Glad to see you are finally getting going, exciting isn’t it 🙂

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  5. Black currant pie is absolutely my favourite! Worth the fiddly topping and tailing!

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    • carolee says:

      I’ve never heard of black currant pie….just currants, sugar, cornstarch…in a crust? Any other flavorings? Vanilla, lemon juice? Topping and tailing…like gooseberries then.

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      • That’s it, just pure black currants, cooked with a little sugar and strained so they’re not too wet – I didn’t think of using cornflour, but that would probably save the need to strain off the juice. It takes so long to top and tail enough currants that I like to enjoy them solo, so no extra flavours!

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      • carolee says:

        Hope someday I can give it a try. Sounds delicious!

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  6. This is so awesome! I am so impressed with your garden!!!

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  7. I love reading your posts. What a brilliant garden!

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  8. I love black current tea is yummy! I love the idea of growing my own. I will be looking into finding some bushes in my area. Your table full of goods looks beautiful! Well done. Thank you for sharing. You have a nice large plot.
    Kate

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    • carolee says:

      Indiana Berry Farm is mainly mail order and ships all over the U.S. My bushes are already leafing out and growing. The root systems were amazing! Check out their website.

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