In between the raindrops

Front Island mulch close  the Front Island has been mulched!  It only needed minor weeding, but I gave the edge a scissor clip as I mulched and deadheaded the marigolds and violas.  The first “Snow Lady” shastas are beginning to open, as well as the “Bumblebee” daylilies and apricot foxgloves off to the right, but not shown in the photo.  Deck G mulch  The Deck Garden is also mulched, but first all the faded “May Queen” shastas had to be cut back, which took forever since there were so many.  They were glorious while they lasted.  Only one lone stalk of eremurus (Foxtail Lily) emerged this year and it’s already nearly done.  Only a single gaillardia and a couple of self-seeded gloriosa daisies survived so there are big empty areas that will need planting when I can get to it and the weather cooperates.  There’s still part of Load 2 on the truck, but it poured last night, so it will be a while before I can spread it on the North Island, which has been weeded and planted but needs edging AGAIN!   Bean R B setting on The
“Royal Burgundy” beans are tiny, but they are setting on despite the hail damaged leaves.  Just for comparison, last year the first beans were harvested on this date!  The “Fast Vantage” cabbage Cabbage Fast Vantage is ready to harvest and looks great despite all the hail holes in the outer leaves.  I did see 5 cabbage butterflies flitting about yesterday, but they seemed more interested in the bolted bok choy and broccoli plants.  With all the rain, spraying Bt to prevent their caterpillars is impossible, so I’m thankful they are late in hatching this year.  This is a new cabbage variety for me, with heads about 6″ across, but it lived up to its name by maturing quickly.  Strawberry Alpine blooms  The “Mignonette” alpine strawberries are blooming, started from seed in February and grown in the basement.  Now if we can keep the raccoons from finding them, we will have strawberries again.  The smashed strawberry beds have recovered and plants are upright again, but the June-bearers won’t produce any more fruit this year.  Next year, strawberries should be abundant because the new varieties planted this spring are going crazy producing new runners.  I think I’ll set them in pots and start a new bed rather than letting them get too thick next to their parents.  Strawberry runners  During a brief sunny interval, the “Parisian” cukes were tied up so they can begin climbing the trellis.  They get very tall.  If you look very carefully, you might spy a few 1″ long baby cukes. Cuke Parisian climbing   The “Green Arrow” peas are still going gangbusters.  This 6′ planting has produced over 5 pint of shelled peas already, with a couple of pickings still to come.  I’ve never had them get so tall before.  Must be all the rain and cooler temperatures.  A year ago today it was 94 degrees.  But, I was able to be productive and shell peas while watching the end of the U.S. Open and put 3 pint in the freezer.  Peas Green Arrow  The “Polbig” tomatoes are setting on nicely Tomato Polbig setting on but I think they’d like it a bit warmer.  No sign of fruit on the contender “Defiant” yet.  The “Juliet” grape tomatoes are full-sized but fully green yet, and I found a pepper the size of a walnut, and a grape-sized cantaloupe, so things are coming on, just a bit later than usual in terms of the potager.  However, the elder is blooming right on schedule.  I picked a big full of elderblow yesterday, and did the same thing last year on that date.  Here’s my gorgeous elder, after I picked over 100 clusters!Elder tree in bloom  Luckily, I got it harvested just before the rain began, stemmed it, and now it’s drying safely in the dining room.  Elderblow drying  Since it’s so humid (rain coming again this eve) the blooms will be spread on trays to dry more quickly.  That’s a lot of delicious cups of tea!  There are still elderberries in the freezer, lots of elderberry jelly, and lots of elderflower syrup from last June’s harvest, so more of the flowers will just be dried this year.  Also drying in my big rectangular wooden bowl is the chamomile I harvested earlier in the week.  It’s ready to go into jars or tins.Chamomile drying  So, the harvest is well underway, although I’m wading in water in the potager’s paths again.  Maybe I should get a canoe and harvest the way the Indians do wild rice!


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.
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11 Responses to In between the raindrops

  1. Jane says:

    So many people seem to be having an abundance of rain in the Northern Hemisphere. You must be getting ours as well! Your garden looks quite bountiful despite hail damage and perhaps not quite enough sun.


    • carolee says:

      More sun would certainly make a big difference! But, I’m feeling lucky as I view all the flooded fields….10″ of rain fell just south of us, so the 1.5″ we got was a blessing in disguise!


  2. bcparkison says:

    it all looks so good .


  3. Despite the rain, everything looks grand!


  4. It does all look fantastic! I can almost smell that elder flower. We’re surrounded by the wild trees, but it’s never occurred to me to grow it low like this – it looks stunning and it must be terrifically productive! Thank you for sharing your lovely work!


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