Peas, primulas, posies and more

Taking advantage of the good weather Saturday, a lot of little jobs were done and photographs were taken. The forecast was for heavy rain, followed by a string of frosty nights and for once they were exactly correct. So, the berry boxes were put back on the blooming strawberries, the young lettuces were covered, some flats were put back into the greenhouse, and a few other things were covered. I took a few moments to admire the growth on the peas. Here’s the first planting, now 12″ tall.

The “Green Arrow” peas, with a row of radishes and kohlrabi on the left.

And then I had to check the second planting of peas, and found that they were germinating, rather unevenly, but they are coming along nicely!

“Spring” peas, a new variety to the potager.

Since they were already 1-2″ tall, I took advantage of the nice weather to plant the third variety of peas, “Penelope” another one that is new to me. It will be interesting to compare the three. The next planting will be “Green Arrow” again, because it’s my favorite, most productive variety to date. More of the auricula primroses planted last year are coming into bloom. Most of them have been a rather dusky purple, bordering on brown, but this one is a bit brighter.

Red is not my color, but this one isn’t so bad…

I’ll wait to see what other colors there are, and then mark some. If I have enough of the ones I truly like, I’ll put the red ones in the plant sale next year! Someone will love them! Nearby, I noticed some rabbit damage, so I put little cages around the only two “Mellow Yellow” columbines that survived the winter.

The foliage really is yellow!

I’ve isolated these columbines far from the ones in the Front Garden and Deck Garden, which are the “American” columbines that the hummingbirds love. Columbines are notorious for crossing, so unexpected colors are constantly popping up in most gardens. I’m hoping the “Mellow Yellow” will self seed, and come true from seed so that I have lots more of that bright foliage for other places. Unfortunately, there’s not a sign of the “Oranges and Lemons” columbines that I added to the Fairy Slope last year. No clue what happened to them! That’s the mystery of gardening, I suppose. Just to the left there’s another cage over the lone “Variegated” lunaria, often called “Honesty” or “Money Plant.” The rabbits ate them all just after they were planted last year, and I didn’t think any survived, but there’s one, and it’s blooming, even though it is spindly and puny…or maybe because it is spindly and puny and is making a last gasp effort to propagate before it succumbs. Unfortunately, the flowers were supposed to be white, but they are the usual purple. I guess I’ll be happy just to have one!

Sunday it did indeed pour, accompanied by thunder and wind. It was the second coldest Mothers’ Day here since 1874, and the fourth wettest. We received over 2 1/2″ of rain. I spent the day indoors making plant sales signs for each variety of plant I’m donating, and cutting up milk jugs for plant labels between phone calls from my children and calling my mother. It was a good day, and very relaxing.

Just enough flowers left to fill the need!

This morning we woke to heavy frost and 29 degrees F. Although it was chilly, I went out after breakfast with clippers and water buckets in hand to see what the storm had left in terms of flowers. Tomorrow is a brunch for members of a little women’s club in our county that has been meeting for over 100 years and I’m donating the centerpieces. It’s called “Wit and Wisdom” and I was just invited to be a new member a couple of weeks before Covid hit, so this is my first meeting as a true member. The spattered mud had to be removed from a few snowball blooms. The tall gold irises I’d planned to use, as well as the last of the “Ocean Wave” daffodils and some yellow tulips were too badly beaten. But, the shorter purple irises were good, and the hyacinthoides and silver bells in the Blue Garden were still nice, since they are in a protected area. The yellow is kale that has bolted, taken from the potager. I’d hoped for some chive or bunching onion blossoms, but they aren’t ready to open yet. Notice my glamorous workspace, the back of the golf cart parked in the garage. I had to replace a flattened tire this morning before it was level enough to use it as a table, but it’s cool in there and the flowers need to look good through tomorrow. Too muddy to take the golf cart out anyway!

Tonight it will frost again, and then again. Possibly we’ll see some sunshine and hit 60 degrees Thursday and Friday before we get heavy rain again Saturday and Sunday. Not sure when I will be able to get in with a truckload of mulch, because it takes a good while for the back lawn to dry out enough to get my truck through, but that’s the next big job on the list. The poor potager’s paths are nearly bare!


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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5 Responses to Peas, primulas, posies and more

  1. Going Batty in Wales says:

    My peas are finally starting to germinate but nowhere near as tall as yours. We are having heavy showers this week but thankfully no frosts. I keep telling the weather gods that the water butts are full now so they can have a rest and let me get on with jobs but as usual they are not listening! Your posies are lovely. I hope you enjoy the meeting – it sounds to be an honour to be invited to join the group. Is it simply a social group or do they have another purpose too?


  2. carolee says:

    No, it is intended to be educational. Each member must present a program. At the end of the year, members vote on the most educational, well-done program and that one is added in print form to the archives. Someday, I’d like to go back and read all the papers over that 100 year plus archive. Membership is limited, and basically someone has to die or move away in order for a new member to be invited. We have had LOTS of rain suddenly, too, and still frost so not much gardening being done here. Flooded fields, so no farmers able to plant either.


  3. I’ve always grown peas over winter for an early spring crop, rather than as a summer crop. Interesting to see you’re putting in peas as your daffodils flower while I’m putting them in as I’m also planting more daffodil bulbs. 🙂 Although I’ve been having trouble with mice getting the peas, so I’ve had to replant a few times.


    • carolee says:

      Interesting that you can overwinter peas. Last year, my entire first planting in early spring turned to brown mush when we had a late May freeze. 29 degrees F here again this morn and frost….

      Liked by 1 person

      • We haven’t yet had our first proper autumn frost – it’s late this year. But it rarely gets below 20F here (near Canberra) even in midwinter, and the peas always seem to survive. I net to keep birds and other creatures off them, I imagine that helps with the frost as well. And it usually only snows once a year. I grow greenfeast and telephone for shelling, Oregon and sugar bon sugar-snap, and mammoth melting snow peas. I sometimes look up the seed varieties you mention, but they’re not always in Australian seed catalogues.


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